There are four debating leagues in Gauteng which are recognised by the Gauteng Schools Debating Board and include the possibility for speakers to be selected into the Gauteng Debating squad: the SACEE debating league, the Gauteng Debating League, the Constitution Hill Debating League and the Atheneum Debating League. The top teams from all leagues come together to participate in the provincial championships, where speakers are selected as provincial trialists.



The SACEE debating league was founded by the South African Council of English Education (SACEE), and still has close ties with that organisation. It incorporates around 50 schools from all over Gauteng. Preliminary rounds are held in geographical regions: Eastern (East Rand), Western (West Rand and some northern Johannesburg schools), Central (most Johannesburg schools) and Northern (Pretoria and Midrand). The top two thirds of schools from each region progress to a combined competition, where they face schools from other regions. After this process has been completed, the top 20 schools qualify to attend the provincial championships. SACEE has its own championships in addition to the provincial tournament.


Gauteng Debating League

The Gauteng Debating League (GDL) is a new debating league that was established in 2010 to develop debating talent in poorer schools, who traditionally could not afford to enter the SACEE league. The league consists of a number of training weekends and mini-tournaments throughout the year, and culminates in a championship weekend in August.


Constitution Hill Debating League

CHDL is run by the Tehuti Institute and Constitution Hill, in partnership with the Gauteng Schools Debating Board. CHDL is a debating league aimed at development and enrichment in Gauteng.

The CHDL includes over 80 schools from different regions throughout Gauteng. The teams compete in a minimum of four preliminary rounds before competing at the CHDL championship rounds, which holds the final at the Constitutional Court.


Provincial Championships

The provincial championships generally incorporate 40 junior teams and 40 senior teams, from these four leagues. The provincial Championships are hosted in the third term of the public schools calendar.




GSDB Chair: Chris Hojem (

49 thoughts on “Gauteng”

  1. What you guys doing for the schools around Gauteng is wonderful and i would like my school to get involved aswell, as we having good speakers from debate to public speaking (S.K Ratseane from Madiba Comprehensive High)

    1. I’m sure the Gauteng leagues would love to have you involved. See the article above for contact details for the various leagues. You should contact them directly to get information about participating. Email me if you have problems (my email address is on the Contact Us page). Good luck! –Irene Pampallis (Operations Officer)

    1. Hi there. You need to get in touch with your provincial debating organisation, because most of the adjudicators are nominated by the provinces. To find the right contact details, go to the page about your province (under the “Provinces” menu tab) and you’ll find all the information you need. — Admin

  2. praising GDL and SACEE for thier comendable work….would loke to recive details on how to enter the comp. because we already have a debating tea….from VTH high pta

    1. Hi there. If you scroll up a bit, you’ll see the contact information for the contact people for both leagues (Warwick Brown for SACEE and Genevieve Dean for GDL). If you get in touch with them they can give you all the entry details. –Admin

  3. Ey I got a problem,I have been assigned to a topic that I can debate about but in a wrong manner. What should I do? Lino Jr. from New Model Private College

    1. Hi Lino. I don’t quite understand what your problem is – could you explain it a bit more, please? Is it that you can’t think of a way to argue for your side of the topic, but lots of ways to argue for the other side of the topic? Or is it something else? If you can help me understand your question, I’ll do my best to help you! –Admin

  4. hello
    i am a very enthuisiastic debator and live in El i would love to know how we can enter this competition. I go to clarendon which is a school in east london and would love to hear more about this competition.

    1. Hi Thando! To get involved with debating in your province, please contact the Eastern Cape Schools Debating Board – you can find their contact details here. Good luck! –Admin

    2. Thando you should chat to the teacher’s in charge of debating at Clarendon. There are two official leagues running in East London- Border and SACEE, both of which Clarendon participates in. There are also numerous “friendly” debates

    1. Hi Mpho,

      Schools are able to enter tournaments organised through their particular province and from here have speakers become elligible to represent that province at the National Debating Championships.

      The best way to get involved is to speak to the head of your province’s debating board as they are in the best position to advise you on how to go about entering particular tournaments. The chair of the Gauteng debating board is Warwick Brown and his email address is: If you cannot get hold of him, then you are welcome to email me at: and I will try and sort something out for you. :) – Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer).

  5. Well,I have to post out a challenge to any school that would like to conjure a defeat please contact me and we could arrange a possible exchange of intellectual thoughts and argument.The name of the school is Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng.

    #Lets Talk!

    1. Hey Ezra,
      I have passed on your challenge to a couple of schools in Gauteng that might be interested. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

      1. hi, please organise a challange for my school,we are located in the west rand krugersdorp it can be any school around Jozi
        THANX: from Madiba Comprehensive High School

        1. Hi Solomon
          Your enthusiasm for debating is fantastic! Perhaps you can contact Ezra ( from the post above or Genevieve Dean ( to see how you can get involved in the leagues in Gauteng.
          Good luck!
          -Sam Dunne (Operations Officer)

    1. Dear Blessing,

      We are ecstatic that you would like to get involved in debating! To answer your question, there are no auditions for schools that wish to join our debating leagues around the country. If you would like to get your school involved, I would suggest you email Warwick Brown ( He is in charge of the Gauteng Schools Debating Board that runs debating within the province. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

    1. Dear Sydney,

      I think that the best thing to do would be to email Warwick Brown ( He is in charge of the Gauteng Schools Debating Board and I am sure that he will be able to work something out. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  6. Hi,

    I work for a company that does a lot of economic development, and my focus is on socio economic development. I have a friend who started a debating team at a poorly disadvantaged school and it has done wonders for the students and their learning. I believe they won their first district competition. Since hearing this, I havent stopped thinking about how we could use debating to help individuals from poor backgrounds learn and hopefully become people who take part in growing the South African economy, at the same time developing themselves through education. I would love to meet with someone from the SA Schools Debating Board just to talk and see what the opportunities are and see where we could potentially partner. I live in Pretoria and work in Johannesburg, so any of these two cities would work for me. Please use my email to contact me.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards.
    One Mokgatle

  7. I just want to ask about the GDL: do the GDL provide with coaches for schools?. Most of the school attrnding these GDL workshops and debates are not experienced enought and now it is just a curios thought that is dertimind to be a good debator but becouse of lack of training and coaching thats will not be successful. I am a viewer of one of the learners attending the workshops and debates!

    1. Dear Mondli,
      Questions about the GDL are best answered by the current chairperson of the Gauteng Schools Debating Board, Warwick Brown ( If you email him, he will be able to give you the information you are looking for. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

    1. Dear Baldwin,
      The South African Schools Nationals is a tournament for Provincial debating teams. Provincial teams are selected from speakers within the province that compete in their respective Provincial tournaments. Your school would be eligible to compete in one of those tournaments if you would like them to have the chance to compete in the National tournament. We have links at the top of the website which will be able to take you to the page for your province and give you the contact details of the Chairperson of your Provincial Board. If you email them, they will be able to give you more details regarding the provincial tournament.- :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

    1. Dear Gcina,
      The Gauteng Schools Debating Board is in charge of debating within the province. The current chairperson of the Gauteng Schools Debating Board is Warwick Brown ( and if you email him, he will be able to give you the information you are looking for.- :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  8. Kudos to the GDL for the wonderful work it is doing for township schools.I am a member of Fidelitas Secondary senior debate role is second speaker and I would like to know how best to advance our chances of reaching the provincials.

  9. Greetings all,

    I was just hoping you could really update your website. Its out of date and is missing all the current info taking place in the debating world, which is great. Especially considering you’re the only south african website dedicated to world schools debating.

    1. Hi William,
      It’s good to see that you’re as excited as we are about debating in South Africa! We’ve been working at getting the updated information from provincial boards and will keep working hard to get those updates for you!
      Thanks for the feedback!
      -Sam Dunne (Operations Officer)

  10. hey would like to adjudicate at GDL. I’m an average debater and would like some experience at the debates held at Wits. I’m willing to do it for free.
    Kind regards
    avid fan.

  11. Dear Mr Dunne

    Oi! I forgot I already commented on your website regarding the same issue. Excuse my error, thanks for the response. Sorry once more. I do not want to come across as a whiny person. And I would like to say that I think the way nationals is being organised this year can be compared to the calibre of other high quality tournaments (ie WSDC). Big thumbs up! So excited. Go Gauteng!

  12. Greetings
    I am running an organisation that focuses on promoting debate and public speaking around schools(Primary schools)in Daveyton,for the past two years,the schools have shown great interest and the talent shown by the young debaters and speaker is without measure,I dont know how I can be helped to make sure that the spark that exist within these young learners does not die out,please help,any help will be highly appriciated.

    1. Hi Sifiso,

      I’m very sorry for the late reply, unfortunately we’ve been trying to deal with a backlog of comments from the transition period between the old and new NEC.

      You should contact the Gauteng Schools Debating Board ( and explain your situation. They can give you more information and assistance in your area. Your project sounds fantastic and I wish you the best of luck!

      Devi (Vice President)

  13. I was wondering,when will the tournaments start for this year?.i have not heard a buzz of any tournaments starting:GDL,africaday nor constitutional hill?

    1. Hi Kamo,

      We are not directly responsible for debating in Gauteng. Try contacting GDL, or alternatively, the GSDB ( for information. I hope you find the information you need!


  14. Hi, i really heard a lot about GDL, Im Piet from Tswasongu secondary, I would really love to put my school at the GDL. So what should I do.

  15. Hey, I’m a debater from townview highschool, I’d like to know when will this year’s GDL be held and where??

    Thank you in advance

  16. Hey guys for all those schools who would like to be a part of the GDL, the person to contact is Shoneez Cassim – Please contact her as soon as possible since we’re currently busy with preparations for next year.

    Cindy Dlamini

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