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South African Mathematics Olympiad entries are open

Last Updated Oct 2019

Johannesburg, Tuesday 29 January 2019 - The 2019 leg of the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) is underway and entries close on the 1st of February. Secondary schools are urged to enter any eligible high school learner to test and enhance their problem solving skills.

By entering the SAMO, learners will be exposed to problems that will test and improve their logical reasoning as well as improve their ability to discover and validate problem solving techniques. The SAMO is the biggest Olympiad in South Africa and aims to improve learners’ problem solving skills. The problems in the first round are carefully selected to make mathematics a more approachable an interesting subject. Organised by the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF), the SAMO is making a positive contribution to the development of critical skills which the country desperately needs to achieve its socio-economic goals.

Liberty Group as main sponsor of the SAMO believes in being a responsible corporate citizen. “Liberty endeavours to contribute to our Nation by enabling young South Africans to achieve financial freedom through education. It aims to dispel the myth on the difficulty of Mathematics and help in the advancement of Mathematics development. Liberty has partnered with SAMF in order to improve quality teaching and learning of Mathematics,” said Nomaxabiso Matjila, Head of Group CSI at Liberty Group.

In 2018 a record number of 106 280 learners from 1 303 secondary schools participated in this popular competition. The entry fee varies from R20 to R35 for a South African learner depending on the number of entrants per school. Quintile 1 and 2 schools can enter up to 100 learners free of charge. Each paper consists of 20 questions with multiple-choice answers and learners have one hour to complete the paper. There is a junior division with separate papers for grades 8 and 9 and a senior division with one paper for grades 10 to 12. The First Round of the Olympiad will take place on the 12th of March and the paper will be an hour long.

Learners who attain 50% and higher in the First Round qualify for the Second Round which will take place on the 15th of May. On the 25th of July the 100 best senior and 100 best junior learners from the Second Round will write the Third and Final Round. The best 10 learners per division receive their prizes at the SAMF annual award function to be held in Cape Town on the 14th of September.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), co-sponsor of the SAMO explains the importance of the Olympiad. “The chartered accountancy profession is in dire need of talented learners with an aptitude for mathematics which develops much needed problem solving skills in our youth. SAMO gives learners the chance to develop a love for mathematics, while entrenching just how important choosing maths and passing it well is if learners want to enter scarce skills professions such as chartered accountancy. We can’t wait to see the talent SAMO unearths this year,” said Chantyl Mulder, Executive Director of Nation Building at SAICA.

For more information call the SAMF office at 012 392 9316/24 or send an email to The entry form is available on

Issued by the South African Mathematics Foundation

Zanele Ncongolo Media and Events Officer SAMF Tel: 012 392 9342 Cell: 061 357 9769 Email:

Date: 24 January 2019

About the South African Mathematics Foundation

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) is registered as a non profit organisation aiming to advance the mathematics development and education of South African children and young people through improved quality teaching and learning of mathematics as well as through public awareness activities. The company was founded in 2004 by the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) and the South African Mathematical Society (SAMS).

The SAMF serves as a national office for mathematics to promote the effective co-ordination, administration and advancement of mathematics in South Africa.


SAICA, South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 46 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], as well as associate general accountants [AGAs(SA)] and accounting technicians [ATs(SA)], who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

One of SAICA’s prime goals is to contribute towards strengthening the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development. SAICA’s Thuthuka Education Upliftment Project, a pioneering transformation initiative, promotes transformation in the profession and provides educational support to learners and students for the benefit of the profession.

Find the SAMF online

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