Meet the future SARB governors

Friday, August 17, 2018

Learners from Krugersdorp High have done their school proud by clinching the top spot in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Schools Challenge competition.

The challenge is an exciting opportunity for Grade 12 learners with Economics as a subject to look into just a few of the factors that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) needs to consider when it sets the country’s repurchase rate.

The repurchase rate affects every single person, business and organisation in the country, and is determined by the SARB’s MPC every two months.

The challenge is an initiative of the SARB, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education.

The competition gives learners a chance to walk in the shoes of the MPC, as it determines, using the SARB's data, whether South Africa’s repurchase rate should go up or down and by how much, or if it should remain unchanged.  

“This competition really broadened my understanding of the economy and I would encourage other learners to take part in the competition,” said an elated Thabiso Rakometsi, who led his team to a win as governor.

Learners, with the assistance of their teachers, compile mock presentations on how they arrived at their decision to either up or lower the repurchase rate or keep it unchanged.

Following the presentation, members of the SARB MPC, pose questions to learners on the major impediments to the country’s growth target, changes in the exchange rate and repo rate.

The four winners -- Thabo Rakometsi, Basi Segwagwe, Ndumiso Magwanya and Nathan Allum -- walked away with the coveted prize of R10 000, including an iPad for each learner and educator. The team won R20 000 for their school.

Taking the second spot was Potchefstroom Gimnasium, followed by Springs Girls School and Orhovelani High School, who were tied at third place.

In marking the centenary of Nelson Mandela, the winners each received a Mandela Commemorative coin.

Launched in 2012, the MPC challenge aims to encourage learners to take up Economics as a subject and improve their understanding of the economy and the work of the SARB, said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

In July 2017, the Minister and the Reserve Bank Governor launched the national roll-out of the challenge, giving learners from all nine provinces a shot at emulating the MPC.

Since then, the number of participating schools has risen from 70 in 2012, to 813 in 2018, impacting 3 212 learners.

“The SARB believes the competition will raise the level of understanding of monetary policy and contribute directly and indirectly to broad economic education. It will also show us who will take over my job,” said SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago. –