Minister gives maximum reward for minimum wage essay
The Old Mutual/Nedbank Budget Speech competition identifies our nation’s most promising young university students and challenges them to engage in critical debate on South Africa’s economic future.Tiaan Meiring, an undergraduate student from the School of Social and Government Studies at the North-West University (NWU), impressed even the finance minister when he won the competition recently.
The aim of the competition is to attract young economic minds and have them engage in debates on current economic-policy debate. It entails writing an essay and submitting it to the competition’s website (2 000 words in length for undergraduate students and 3 500 words for postgraduates). The topic for the undergraduate category was an assessment of the possible introduction of a national minimum wage as one of the key mechanisms to reduce income inequality.
All the essays submitted are then adjudicated by a filter panel, and later also a final adjudication panel, of leading academics and practitioners in the field of economics – narrowing the field to twenty semi-finalists, and later to ten finalists, per category. The ten finalists of both categories are then invited to Cape Town to be interviewed by the final adjudication panel, from where the top three in each category are identified. As the winner of the undergraduate competition, Tiaan walked away with R60 000 prize money.
The competition serves as a very competitive and challenging experience to the finalists, but also provides great networking opportunities. The finalists are exposed to multiple television, radio and other media interviews; they meet multiple top local economists, government officials and leaders of industry; and they are afforded the opportunity to not only attend the Budget Speech at Parliament, but also ask the Minister of Finance challenging questions on his speech at the competition dinner that evening.
Tiaan says the competition has been an amazing opportunity and learning curve for him, for which he is very grateful to all those involved in the competition. “I would strongly encourage any student interested in current and economic affairs to take the time to enter the competition”.