Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape Debating Board have made tremendous strides in their development programmes, as well as producing competitive speakers, since 2014. The province has shown a great improvement at the National Debating Championships, with speakers from the Eastern Cape delegation qualifying for the National Team trials and for the National Academy Program.

There are various leagues taking place in the Eastern Cape:

  1. Lukhanji League

–          The league is being coordinated Pakamani Ndwandwa

–          These are schools from around the municipal region of Lukhanji, which has schools from about five towns.

–          The league fixtures run concurrently for both juniors and seniors. This takes place between first and second term.

–          There are 12 schools enrolled in the league.

–          Our CA Louise Charsika runs the adjudication workshop and a development day for speakers.

–          Derby Fridays and debating days are often on weekends, in the first 3 terms.


  1. Border League

–          The league is being coordinated by Ms. Ronwyn Pearce of Merrifield College

–          This is currently the biggest league in the province

–          The schools in border league are East London and King Williams Town based schools.

–          During the first term there are speaker and adjudication workshops hosted by Ronwyn Pearce

–          First term is league debates for the seniors and they take place on a Wednesday at various schools.

–          Second term is league debates for juniors and they also take place on Wednesdays.

–          Fridays are used for friendlies and derby days by some schools.


  1. Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage League

–          The league is being coordinated Liziel Hemelman from Theodore Herzl

–          PE runs jointly with Uitenhage. This is still in its infant phase as structures are being developed.

–          They normally run a debating festival in late January, early February at Alexander High School. This is often attended by schools around the province and is great exposure for start up debaters and for matrics who are signing off on their high school debating careers.

–          This year they are trying to fuse the academy and open sections in order to have a good break for the Provincial tournament.


  1. Mthatha League

–          The league is being coordinated by Ms. Bongiwe Sokutu from Holy Cross Christian School.

–          This league has often provided the bulk the academy speakers for both junior and senior divisions.

–          It is also still in its developmental phase as it doesn’t have more than 5 schools in their league.

–          Largest problem is funding to take speakers to the Provincial tournament.


  1. Grahamstown/Port Alfred League

–          The league is being coordinated by Khulile Mjo, from Rhodes University.

–          The league is run on Fridays and adjudicated by Rhodes University students.

–          The league recently started its project to incorporate academy schools in their region.


The province plans to implement the New Areas Development Plan and engage other regions with the aim of starting up leagues and inviting them to the Provincial tournament.

The Eastern Cape Schools Debating Board Chairperson:

Pakamani Ndwandwa


26 thoughts on “Eastern Cape”

  1. I would like to be emailed information on debates, know the schools that are participating in the debate programmes around King Williams Town and East London.

    1. Hi there. You’ll need to send an email to the Rhodes Debating Union at the address above to get them to tell you the options and add you to their mailing list. Good luck – I hope you find all the information you need! –Irene Pampallis (Operations Officer)

      1. Hi there .. I am a debating student student whos running the Debating faculty at Harvest Christian School . it would really help me if i could get more info on different debating styles and step to step stuff for people who are beginnners in debating

        1. Hi Simphiwe,

          You can download our debating manual here, which has step-by-step guidelines on World Schools Style. Otherwise you can try contact the EC board at the above contact details for more information!


  2. Hi,
    I was reading some of the issues that debaters have and came across a debater who asked for contacts for extra coaching. Is it possible mam to receive contacts for extra coaching in the Eastern Cape. This is because we can’t go to “The Academy” so we would like alternative coaching as well.

    Yours in anticipation,
    Mlingani Matiwane (concerned debater)

  3. Mlingani what area are you from in the Eastern Cape. Currently training is done within the individual districts and Rhodes debating soceity hosts many debate days. In PE NMMU id currently gearing themelves to start a training programme too. I know that in East London workshops run twice a year, hosted by Hudson Park High School.

  4. Nonzwanga, I run one of the leagues in the EL and KWT region our league is named Border Schools debating league. Please email me if you require details. We run Term 1 and term 2. We currently have 14 schools in the league, but i am keen to grow it

  5. If Beaconhurst High School (in East London) would like to begin debating in the new year, is it advisable to enter into the legue? We have never had any debating in the past, and to my knowledge neither have any of the teachers. Would it be possible to get the dates of the debating workshops for 2012?


    1. Hi Brendan. The Eastern Cape Debating board will be able to give you all the information and assistance that you will need to get involved in debating within the province. You can contact the board at this address: ronshadow@hotmail.com. I hope that this helps! – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  6. Hi!! i would like to start a debating club @ the school i’m currently at. I’m also interested in knowing when and where the debating workshops are held and how to enter our school in the league.I’m in the p.e area. thank you

    1. Hey,
      Debating in the Eastern Province is run by the Eastern Cape Debating Board. They can be contacted at this address: ronshadow@hotmail.com and will be able to get you involved in both workshops and debates within your area. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  7. HI,
    I’m a founding member of Siyaphambili Youth Pioneers- a registered Literacy Project based in Soweto, Gauteng province. The project applies the art of debate and public speaking to help young learners improve literacy their skills. We work with high school learners, through the support of Language teachers in formulating our curriculum. This has proven difficult since most teachers are generally demotivated to put in extra effort. We wish to expand the project to the Eastern Cape Province as literacy in this province remains a critical challenge. I am currently working for Rhodes University in Grahamstown and have been recruiting a team of young professionals and re-tired teachers to try and consolidate a team for establishing SYP-EC. Kindly provide us with what we would need in order to make this effort a effective one.
    Thank YOU.

    1. Dear Zandi,
      The Eastern Cape’s Debating Board will be able to assist your efforts in training school students as debaters. You can contact them through their chairperson, Ronwyn Pierce (ronshadow@hotmail.com) – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  8. I would like to know why debate tournaments circle around the same areas in the sense the country district of the eastern cape rarely gets invites to provincial tournaments its always the same schools predominately East London schools and Grahamstown

    1. Dear Lina,
      The current chairperson of the Eastern Cape Schools Debating Board is Ronwyn Pierce. If you email her on: ronshadow@hotmail.com she will be able to answer your question. – :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  9. I’m a debating student but im not sure whom to ask about the debating league in Port Elizabeth please inform me about anything on EP debating if possible.

    1. If you email the chairperson of the Eastern Cape Schools Debating Board Ronwyn Pierce (ronshadow@hotmail.com), she will be able to inform you about the debating league in PE.- :) Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

    1. Dear Libo,
      If you email the chairperson of the Eastern Cape Schools Debating Board Ronwyn Pierce (ronshadow@hotmail.com), she will be able to inform you about debating in Umtata.- Tristan von Zahn (Operations Officer)

  10. I went to buchule ths a number of years ago and took part in debating, I went to provincials and nationals a couple of times. I have since returned to coach buchule’s younger debaters and have learned they have not returned to provincial since my time, I’m conserned. they say they have not been invited back, could there be a particular reason maybe that we are not awear of? please do kindly communicate with us on Fax: 043 761 4712 tell: 043 761 4712 attention debate coach.
    your assistance here in will be greatly appriciated.

    1. Hi Sifiso,
      If you mail the Eastern Cape Schools Debating Board’s chair, Ronwyn Pierce (ronshadow@hotmail.com), he will be able to give you more information about how to get involved again!
      Good luck!
      -Sam Dunne (Operations Officer)

  11. i want to start a debate academy in my community and close by towns, therefore what do i need to do so, and can you kindly Email me tournaments schedules. I’m from Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape. another thing what can i do to register for national tournaments

    1. Hi Lazola,

      There are some guidebooks in the resources/downloads section of this site. Otherwise, you should contact the Eastern Cape Debating Board (contact info above!) and they should give you all the help you need.

      If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to ask!


  12. hey guys, i have experience in university debating. i am currently based in qtn, ec. how can i be part of school debates either as a judge or coach.by the way my name is Ovayo

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