Four mathematic savvy learners who won top prizes at the Free State Mathematics competition will compete at the 2019 South African Mathematics Olympiad. They are Mikael van Eschwege (Gr. 8, Grey College), Willem Botma (Gr. 9, Landboudal High School in Jacobsdal), Tana Lindokuhle (Gr. 10, Thabo Vuyo Secondary School in Rouxville) and Moosa Yaaseen (Gr. 11, Ficksburg High School). They qualified for next year’s national competition after excelling at the provincial leg of the mathematic event held on 10 and 11 October at the Bon Hotel in Bloemfontein. Run by the provincial Department of Education in partnership with Kagiso Trust, a non-governmental organisation, the competition is created for Gr. 8 to Gr. 11 learners of schools across the province. Altogether 15 360 learners of 128 schools participated in the competition which is supported by the Eskom Development Foundation. The winners of each grade received a range of prizes which included Maths kits for their schools, smart phones, tablets, vouchers and power banks. The four – Tana, Mikael, Willem and Moosa – each won a prestigious prize at stake – automatically qualifying for the 2019 Olympiad competition.Willem was the overall winner provincially. He took home a smart phone, two tablets, a power bank, a memory stick, an Oxford Maths Dictionary, a R2 000 shopping voucher, Maths kit for his school, a gold medal, a certificate and a floating trophy. In addition, he and his teacher were awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Cape Town. The mathematic savvy learners now eye the top prize of the Olympiad. The Olympiad’s prize first round is set to be in March, followed by the second round in May with the third round in July. The Olympiad’s winners of the third round will be registered for the International mathematics Olympiad to be held at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom in July 2019. Cecil Ramonotsi, the chief executive officer of the Eskom Development Foundation, said the competition was important to empowering the learners to perform well in their studies, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation. “Our country has a severe shortage of skilled scientists, engineers and technicians, and this is partly due to the lack of quality Maths and Science results. “This Maths competition is one way of tackling exactly that problem and as Eskom, we are proud to be associated with it,” said Ramonotsi.