13 young artists win 56th annual art competition

3 min read 30 October 2019

Santam’s Child Art Project is honoured to announce the creative winners of its 56th annual art competition. The young artists impressed the judges with imaginative interpretations of their surroundings and this year’s theme ‘I spy with my little eye”, which will be featured in the 2020 Santam Child Art calendar.

Tersia Mdunge, CSI Manager at Santam says, “This project started in 1963 to offer children a creative outlet for their thoughts and ideas while also encouraging a love of art among our youth. Over the past five decades, we’ve seen the children’s art evolve both in style and use of colour. In addition the success stories are numerous.”

Eezet Fourie is an example of this. As a learner she entered and won the Sanlam Child Art competition, now she runs an art school and her learners enter every year. This year one of her learners was selected as a winner in their region.

Mdunge adds, “I remember this to be one of the oldest social investment projects in the country and for us, it's an active effort to fulfil the need for art education, particularly in disadvantaged communities. We continue doing so because for more than 55 years we’ve seen the benefits of art.  It’s an outlet that allows us to express individuality, creativity, and feeling while also strengthening our critical thinking.”

Anri Du Plessis, the winner from C&N Sekondere Meisieskool Oranje in Bloemfontein, says  ”Art gives me the opportunity to create something that does not exist. One only realises the beauty of an object when you really look at it to draw or paint it. Each artwork I make has its own character and that gives me more joy than anything else.”

Insert list of winners across South Africa:

The Santam Child Art Project is more than just an annual competition though. “We’ve seen that whilst Arts and Culture is part of the formal curriculum for primary school children, there are still too many schools that don’t offer the subject. They are often under-resourced or lack the skill set. Which is why Santam has joined forces with the Ibhabhathane Project to present arts and culture teacher workshops. We also fund free art classes to children from various communities around the country” says Mdunge.


Launched in 1963, the Santam Child Art project aims to promote a love for art among children and improve Arts and Culture educators' abilities to teach the skills required. Santam believes that art has the ability to deepen children's insight and capabilities, helping them to develop holistically and reach their full potential. The programme provides young people with an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas through art, and be acknowledged for this creative expression.

Over the years the Santam project has developed into a nationally recognized initiative that now incorporates a national art competition, an online exhibition of selected artworks, an art calendar, as well as informal art centres at schools around the country. 

Although it is not a primary goal of the programme, Santam hopes the programme would result in economic development.