Youngsters debate 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pretoria - Youngsters representing three schools did verbal battle yesterday, when they went head-to-head in a debate on the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The ultimate winner of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) National Schools Debate competition, Charlotte Le Fleur, was rewarded for putting forth a very strong argument that the 2010 FIFA World Cup would bring a positive change to the lives of most South Africans.

The 17-year-old Grade 12 learner from Worcester Secondary School in the Western Cape said the soccer tournament will benefit the majority of South Africans by creating thousands of jobs and bring in billions of rands in revenue.

The three finalists had the task on Wednesday of debating whether the World Cup would benefit the majority of South Africans.

Runners up Bojosi Morule of Eunice High School in the Free State and Kgaogelo Clement Mokholwane from Steve Tshwete Secondary School in Gauteng argued that the World Cup would only benefit a few South Africans and FIFA. Le Fleur thought otherwise.

Kgaogelo strongly believed the rich would only get richer and the poor get poorer whereas Bojosi felt there would only be short-term benefits for a few South Africans.

The competition, organised by Sanlam and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), aimed to get the youth's views on issues of national importance and to foster a culture of debate among young South Africans.

The theme that guided the debate up to the finals was "Young people can play a key role in reducing poverty and building a better South Africa".

The finalists met with President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday to discuss his SONA. Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, commended the learners for their participation, engagement and interest in the competition.

Chabane said the work South Africa needs to do as a nation to build a solid future for all is the cornerstone upon which our democracy is founded and driven.

"I hope the learner's contributions motivate other young South Africans to become active participants in their communities worldwide, and that they have been inspired to greater heights in whatever careers they choose to pursue," he said.