Top young mathematicians revealed: Celebrating the country’s bright Minds


nesprayLogoJohannesburg, 2 October 2019- After months of fun and exciting mathematics tests for learners in Grades 4- 7, the NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge is proud to announce the 2019 national medallists who are in the running to be crowned the overall winner. The fledgling mathematicians were among over 80 000 participants from across the country who were competing to claim the coveted Gold Medal.

The national top 11 medallists for the Junior and Senior division respectively will attend a Smart Camp taking place on 11 October 2019 and will be joined by their parents/guardians. The first ever NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Smart Camp is a day designed to build and reinforce parent/guardian and child interaction through fun mathematics activities. The day will be filled with various challenges that foster teamwork, enthusiasm and aim to eradicate the stigma around mathematics being perceived to be difficult for primary school children.

“The NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge has been in full swing since April 2019 and it is an honour to recognize the top medallists who have undergone a series of mathematics exams to reach the top 11 status. The process has been amazing to watch as we saw school-going children, school teachers & principals as well as parents/guardians coming together to demystify the myths about mathematics being hard and inaccessible. We are very excited to have come this far with the scholars and we hope that more schools and children will participate in the next NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge,” said Business Executive Officer for Dairy Nestlé South Africa, Adedoja Ekeruche.

The NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge is proudly sponsored by NESTLÉ NESPRAY and is co-ordinated by the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) in association with the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA). Professor Kerstin Jordaan, Executive Director at SAMF is proud of the young Mathematicians. “SAMF is very delighted to be supported by organisations such as NESTLÉ NESPRAY who understand the need to enrich primary school level leaners. Vital seeds are being planted and the country will reap the fruits of such programmes. My heartiest congratulations go to all the medallists. They have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with in mathematics,” she said.

The Top Medallists are (in alphabetical order):

Junior Division

Ben Cilliers - Laerskool Lynnwood;

Ben Maree – Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory;

Chen Minjing – Redhill Preparatory School;

Eli Williams- Sweet Valley Primary School;

Erik Senekal – Laerskool Lynnwood;

Hannah Joubert - Hermanus Primary School;

Jan Karsten – Laerskool Jan Van Riebeeck;

Lisa Browne- Sweet Valley Primary School;

Megan Pitzer – Laerskool Die Poort;

Nandana Pillai – Penzance Primary School; and

Petrus Van Der Westhuyzen – Laerskool Hennopspark

Senior Division (in alphabetical order)

Aaron Pearlman – King David Primary School Linksfield;

Anna Lumby - Sweet Valley Primary School;

Jonty Bresler- Sweet Valley Primary School;

Etienne Toerien – Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory;

Jack Binder – Deutsche Schule Durban;

Jonathan Penumala – Montrose Primary School;

Jun Jung Tai – Heronbridge College;

Kim Youkyum- Kenridge Primary School;

Marike Louw – Laerskool Lynnwood;

Simon Oosthuizen – Sweet Valley Primary School; and

Slade Kendall- Sweet Valley Primary School

Format Of The Challenge:

The NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge consists of three rounds and is open for all Grade 4 to 7 learners with separate papers for each grade. The First Round is written at schools on a specific date determined by the organisers at a time as arranged by the school. Each paper is an hour long and consists of 20 multiple choice questions.

The second round is for learners who achieved 50% or more in the First Round and is written at participating schools. There are again separate multiple choice papers for each and the duration is one hour.

The best approximately 432 learners from the previous round qualify for the Third and Final Round.  This round is written at centralised provincial venues. There are two papers: Grades 4-5 learners write the Junior paper and Grades 6-7 learners write the Senior paper. Learners have 90 minutes to solve 15 challenging mathematical problems. An important aim with the final round is for learners to interact with others in the context of mathematics – to further foster the idea that mathematics is a social activity and we use it to in everyday situations.

Based on the results of the Final Round the top approximately 10 learners per division are selected as national winners. The overall winner receives a gold medal and the runners-up a silver medal.


NESTLÉ is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 189 countries around the world, and its 328,000 employees are committed to NESTLÉ’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. NESTLÉ offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2000 brands range from global icons like NESCAFÉ or NESPRESSO to local favourites like RICOFFY.  Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. NESTLÉ is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.

About the South African Mathematics Foundation

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) is registered as a non-profit company aiming to play a leading role in expanding the base of mathematics excellence in South Africa by contributing towards professional development of mathematics educators, promoting the advancement of mathematics through creating awareness of and developing skills in mathematics, research, advocacy and identifying and nurturing of mathematically talented youth towards an innovative landscape in South Africa for science, business, finance and engineering. The company was founded in 2004 by the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) and the South African Mathematical Society (SAMS).

Issued by the South African Mathematics Foundation

Zanele Ncongolo

Media and Public Relations Officer

Tel: 012 392 9342/72

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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