With 2012 having produced a number of highly skilled and proficient public speakers, audiences can once again expect to be dazzled by the brilliance of the speakers on display, as future leaders across South Africa prepare to display their impressive oratory skills at the 2013 Young Communicator Ambassadors (YCA) Awards.

The resounding excitement for YCA to kick-start is evident in all nine provinces, with learners eager to emulate and even outperform last year’s achievers.

Now in its 20th year, the YCA, sponsored by Anglo American and presented in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and media partner Sowetan, strives to help grade 11 and 12 pupils from South African public schools who are not first-language  English  speakers improve their communication proficiency and build confidence through public speaking.

The YCA serves as a catalyst in rewriting the future of South Africa, by helping the country’s talented youth find their voice, and empowering them with the various aids they require to excel in their lives, both professionally and personally. This is accomplished by providing them with a variety of skills, including professional etiquette, leadership training, presentation and communication competencies as well as mentorship.

These are skills that will undoubtedly serve participants well in many aspects of their lives in the future. The overall winner receives a first prize R60 000 bursary towards his or her first year tertiary studies and becomes eligible to apply for an Anglo American second and/or third year tertiary study bursary. Further, the national finals winner will receive R10 000 for their school.  Anglo American executive director, Khanyisile Kweyama, notes that the company’s backing of the YCA is linked to the Group’s desire to uplift South Africa’s youth.

“For the past 20 years, we have proudly made a valuable contribution to the development of future leaders in South Africa through our support of the Young Communicator Ambassador awards.

It is Anglo American’s firm belief that the young people participating use the know-how and experiences they gain from the competition to create positive change in their communities, and become leaders of immense stature.

Anglo American remains committed to advancing education and youth development in the country. We endeavour to ensure that this year’s competition is an outright success, and will continue to align efforts to educational initiatives that make a real difference in shaping the career and life development of South Africa’s youth”.