Seven UFH Students progress to semi-finals in 2021 National Budget Speech Competition

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UFH Economics and Business Management students have once more proven to be the cream of the crop! Out of 30 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the country’s universities who made the cut into the semi-finals of the Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition, seven are from the University of Fort Hare.

The semi-finalists were selected from hundreds of entries through a rigorous judging process by a panel of adjudicators led by Nedbank and Old Mutual economists.

The University of Fort Hare is also the only Eastern Cape University represented in this stage of the competition.

The UFH group comprises:


  • Ms Inga Nomandla (Honours in Economics)
  • Ms Enathi Athabile (Honours in Economics)
  • Ms Asemahle Simanga (Honours in Economics)



  • Mr Garai Macdonald (3rd year Agricultural Economics)
  • Mr Stanley Ndlovu (3rd Bcom Business Management)
  • Mr Kumbirai Takawira (3rd year Agricultural Economics)
  • Mr Musosa Walter Tawanda (3rd year Bcom Business Management)


First held in 1972, the competition is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate economics and finance students from South African tertiary institutions. The students are required to submit essays responding to current socio-economic challenges. According to the competition’s website, contestants are required to put themselves in the shoes of the Finance Minister by addressing challenging demands and attempting to find a balanced view to tackle the issues of the day.

In the undergraduate category, students had to discuss South Africa’s focus on the public sector wage bill as an expenditure control measure. Postgraduates had to weigh in on the debt default risk in South Africa and its potential fallout, making use of international experience.

UFH has had representations in this competition since 2006 and showcased great success in the past three consecutive years. In 2018, Mongi Tshaka was a finalist in the postgraduate category. In 2019, Bekithemba Qeqe took home the top prize accompanied by fellow finalists Cwayita Mkrola in the postgraduate category and Manyoni Ndambenhle in the undergraduate category. In 2020, Luyanda Matomane was placed third in the postgraduate category.

“The chances that we can win again are high,” said Prof Forget Kapingura, UFH Economics Associate Prof who also mentors the UFH contestants. Prof Kapingura added that being selected for such a prestigious competition is testament that UFH students are able to compete with their peers from other universities and emerge as winners.

The finalists will be announced later this month (November 2021).  The top three winners in each category will be announced next year by the Minister of Finance at the gala dinner of the 2022 National Budget Speech.