SACEE – Border Branch

National Language Challenge and Puzzle Parade

In 1991 the Border branch of SACEE initiated the National Language Challenge. The competition was introduced in order to provide an English language benchmarking service to schools and over the past 24 years it has expanded into a national initiative serving schools in all 9 provinces of South Africa.

The Border branch of SACEE is entirely responsible for the setting of the papers, all the administrative work involved in the running of the competition and the marking and distribution of the results of each year’s competitions.


COVID-19 and the subsequent National Lockdown has had far reaching implications for the education sector.  As schools struggled to adapt to new teaching conditions, reduced teaching time and adjusted budgets meant that many schools found the need to put all extra educational activities on hold.  This had a direct impact on the implementation of the 2020 SACEE National Language Challenge where less than a third of our usual entrants were able to participate.   

While the number of participants were significantly lower than in 2019, the 2020 SACEE National Language Challenge continued to provide an English Language bench-marking service to those schools who were able to enter.   It should be noted that at the time of compiling the report 2 schools had not submitted their results.      

Below please find the 2020 results with a comparison to the 2019 results.    The full list of prizewinners can be found here.

Special mention should be made of the following schools and learners:

  • Stirling Primary had 7 learners who achieved 100% in Grade 1
  • Nika Weis from Clarendon Girls High and Erin Commaille from Rhenish Girls High achieved 100% in Grade 10
  • Charlotte Moss from Rhenish Girls High achieved 100% in Grade 11

These learners and schools should all be commended for their excellence and noteworthy performance.   

We would like to commend all principals and teachers who have gone above and beyond this year to support their learners during these trying times.  Thank you to those who have continued to support SACEE.  We trust that you will find the results informative and useful in benchmarking your school’s English Language proficiency against National norms and averages, and, for those schools which have participated in the past, plotting and measuring your progress against previous years. 

We encourage all schools to recognize their top performing learners, particularly those who achieved outstanding results.  Please find here a template for a certificate that can be used to award your top scorers.   

Please note that only the overall top three learners (including tied places) in Grades 4 – 11 are awarded a cash prize. Unfortunately, due to the decline in entries the value of the prize money needed to be reviewed and adjusted.  We are truly sorry for this; however, these have been unpredictable times where many changes have been necessary.

We ask all schools with prize winners to complete this page and send us their banking details by return email so that we can transfer the prize winner’s cash prize into your school account.  We would appreciate it if you could award the prize winners their relevant amounts.

Kind regards

Lisa van Tonder

Co-Ordinator:  SACEE Language Challenges and Puzzle Parades.   


For more information please email