North-West University (NWU) master’s student in economics Sphesihle Thusini was announced second runner-up in the postgraduate category of the 2022 Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition and walked away with R50 000.
For the 2022 competition, postgraduates were asked to submit an essay, evaluating the impact of public infrastructure investment on economic growth based on South Africa's post-2000 experience. They were also asked to discuss this impact on the prospects for economic growth in the medium term.
There was a total of 230 entries, after which a filter and adjudication panel chose 20 finalists who were announced on 14 December 2022. Following interviews by the panel during the budget week, the winners and runners-up were chosen from this shortlist, and announced at a gala dinner on budget speech night, 22 February 2023.
Sphesihle says the experience was amazing. “Apart from putting forward solutions for current challenges, we also had the opportunity to interact with prominent figures such as ministers and executives from Nedbank and Old Mutual.”
Songezo Mpini from Wits University won the postgraduate category with prize money of R150 000, and Christian Franken from Stellenbosch University was announced first runner-up and received R60 000.
About the Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition
The Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition was launched in 1972 as a platform to empower and create exposure for the country’s brightest young economic minds.
Now in its 52nd edition, the competition has become a highly anticipated annual event that coincides with the national Budget Speech.
The annual essay competition poses challenging economic scenarios for undergraduate and postgraduate economics students to research, explore and propose ideas that the Finance Minister could implement in addressing the country's socioeconomic challenges.
Sustained interest in the competition has demonstrated that South African youth desire to play a constructive role in strengthening the economy and building a more inclusive society.
The 52nd competition for 2023’s entries close on 30 June.
NWU master’s student in economics Sphesihle Thusini was announced second runner-up in the postgraduate category of the 2022 Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition. From left are Iain Williamson, CEO of Old Mutual, Sphesihle, Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana, and Mike Brown, CEO of Nedbank.