The Department of Basic Education urges all Secondary School learners to be a part of the annual SADC (Southern African Development Community) Secondary Schools Essay Competition.

Now in its 16th year the SADC Secondary Schools Essay Competition brings to the fore the undoubted talents of some of South Africa’s most gifted young writers, their ability to express themselves, their thoughts and views.

The topic of this year’s essay is:

“Climate Change is having adverse effects on socio-economic development in the Region. What should the Education Sector do to mitigate the impact on the youth?” Learners are expected to write an essay, focusing on the guidelines below explaining aspects of the theme.


Learners are expected to:  

  • Explain the causes of global warming and how a change of one or two degrees in global average temperatures can have an impact on our lives? (10 marks)
  • Discuss the effects of global warming and climate change on the socio-economic development in the SADC region? (20 Marks)
  • What are the main challenges in addressing the effects of global warming and climate change? Is it too late to do anything about climate change? (20 Marks)
  • What should the SADC Education Sector do to mitigate the impact of climate change on the youth? (25 Marks)

Three selected essays from each Province will be forwarded to the Department of Basic Education by 15 April 2014 for final adjudication. The SADC Secretariat has allocated a sum of US $ 1000 as prize money for the national winners of the competition. The prize money will be divided as follows:

  • US $ 500 for the first prize
  • US $ 300 for the second prize
  • US $ 200 for the third prize

 Each winning candidate (first three prize-winners) will receive the equivalent of the prize money in Rands. The three national winning essays will be forwarded to the SADC Secretariat for consideration in the SADC regional competition

 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must reside in South Africa,
  • Applicants must be currently attending secondary school,
  • Essays must not be more than 2000 words but not less than 1000 (Arial 1.5 line spacing for typed essays),
  • Submissions must be the unaided work of applicants,
  • Submissions should be in English,
  • The name of entrants should be the same as those that appear on the Identification Document (ID) or Passport,
  • Applicants must be willing and fit to travel.

To submit an entry:

All entries should be submitted to the nearest District or Provincial Coordinator on a date set at Provincial Level. National Closing date: 11 April 2014.