Thu, 28 February 2019


For information on the competition, first read our press release here.

The rules below apply to all entries received in the 2019 ‘What if, South Africa?’ poetry competition.
  1. ‘What if, South Africa?’(the “Competition”) is organised by AVBOB, headquartered at 368 Madiba Street, Pretoria Central, Pretoria, 0002.

Opening and closing time
  1. The competition opens for entry at 00h01 South African Standard Time (SAST) on 1 March 2019.
  2. The closing date of the competition is at 23h59 South African Standard Time (SAST) on 31 March 2019.

  1. The competition is open to any citizen of South Africa, unless excluded by these competition rules.
  2. Entrants may enter poems only in English.
  3. By entering the competition, entrants (and if the entrant is under 18 years of age, the entrant’s parent or guardian) acknowledge that they have read, understood and accepted these competition rules.
  4. Only electronic submissions received via e-mail to will be accepted.
  5. A single entrant may submit no more than one poem, of no more than 100 words, into this competition.
  6. Each poem will be assessed as originally submitted only. No subsequent editorial amendment or resubmission is permitted. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into. In the case of winning poems, the editors will correct any obvious typos, grammar or spelling mistakes where necessary.
  7. Current direct or indirect AVBOB employees and staff (who may also be students) and their spouses/partners and/or family members are not eligible to enter; neither are any current or former competition judges or their immediate family members, or any organisers or suppliers who are associated with this competition.
  8. AVBOB does not accept any responsibility for late, lost, incomplete, incorrectly submitted, delayed, illegible, corrupted or misdirected entries, claims or correspondence, whether due to error, omission, alteration, tampering, deletion, theft, destruction, transmission interruption, communications failure or otherwise. Entrants acknowledge that the Internet is not a secure medium and that the judging panel is not responsible for the security of e-mailed entries.
  9. AVBOB reserves the right, at any time, in its sole discretion to cancel, vary, suspend or modify the competition, including, without limitation, circumstances where AVBOB in its own opinion considers for any reason that this competition is not capable of running as planned because of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorised intervention, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of AVBOB, which may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this competition or otherwise, subject to any written directions under applicable legislation.
  10. AVBOB and its employees will not be liable for any claim, loss, damage, injury, cost and expense suffered, sustained or incurred (including but not limited to indirect or consequential) as a result of, arising out of, or in any way connected with the competition or your entry (or winning and use of the prize if the prize winner), except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law (in which case that liability is limited to the maximum allowable by law), and you indemnify and release AVBOB and its employees from all such claims made or sustained as a result of entering this competition, or for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any breach by you of these terms and conditions, including breach of any third party intellectual property rights and/or any warranty or representation being false or incorrect. This clause survives the conclusion of the competition.
  11. The laws of South Africa shall apply to these competition rules. If any part of these competition rules is void or unenforceable, then that part will be severed from and the remainder construed as if the severed part had never existed.
  12. This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Disqualification of entries
  1. The AVBOB poetry competition judging panel (the “judging panel”) reserves the right to refuse any entries at its sole discretion. The judging panel also reserves the right to disqualify any entrant or entry at its absolute discretion. For example, the judging panel may disqualify:
    1. Any surplus or additional entries.
    2. Incomplete, indecipherable or illegal entries, or entries containing incorrect contact details.
    3. Any entries that AVBOB considers contains material that is objectionable, defamatory, profane or potentially insulting, inflammatory or defamatory, or contravenes an applicable law or infringes any third party's rights;
    4. Entrants who AVBOB considers have tampered with the entry process or engaged in unlawful or improper conduct that is designed to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the competition, or is generally damaging to the goodwill or reputation of AVBOB; or
    5. Entries that AVBOB considers inappropriate for any reason.
  2. AVBOB reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and the mandatory details provided by entrants (including an entrant's identity, age and parental/legal guardian permission (where applicable)), and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these terms and conditions. The identification necessary for verification is at the sole discretion of AVBOB. Failure by AVBOB to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.

  1. The entrant must ensure that the poem entered:
    1. Is an original work of the entrant as defined in the South African Copyright Act 98 of 1978;
    2. Is not published, under offer to any publication, or offered for publication (unpublished) until the adjudication is finalised and the winner is notified and announced.
  2. By entering the competition, the entrant warrants that he or she is the sole owner of the poem and the sole copyright owner of the content of the poem (material) and that he or she is compliant with and agrees to comply with these terms and conditions. This clause shall survive the conclusion of the competition.
  1. AVBOB cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the competition.
  2. AVBOB reserves the right both to cancel the competition and to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary or to account for circumstances beyond AVBOB’s control. Any notice of cancellation or changes to the rules will be posted on this website.
  3. In the event of any dispute regarding these rules or any other matter relating to the competition, the decision of AVBOB shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
  4. Entries not complying with the competition rules will be disqualified, as will entrants in breach of the rules.
  5. Entrants must not approach or attempt to influence any judge or member of AVBOB staff over competition matters.
  6. The competition rules will be governed by South African law, and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of South Africa.

  1. First place (R10 000), second place (R7 000) and third place (R3 000) cash prizes will be allocated to unique poems selected by the judges.
  2. AVBOB reserves the right, in conjunction with the competition panel of judges, to withhold the prizes, or to reduce or split the prize money if, in their opinion, such action is justified for any reason.

  1. Should your poem be selected as a winner by AVBOB, the entrant provides AVBOB consent to usage rights on other platforms and in other media. 
  2. Usage rights mean that the authors of poems that are selected as winners of the competition (and if the author is under 18 years of age, the entrant’s parent or guardian), grant AVBOB irrevocable, non-exclusive licence to republish their work in perpetuity, including but not limited to:
    1. Publishing the work online.
    2. Publishing the work in print or online as part of an anthology or as an information resource.
    3. Production of reprints.
    4. Using the work for publicity purposes, in print, as well as on radio or television.
  3. All the rights mentioned above cover distribution or publication anywhere in the world, but not for selling poetry.
  4. Copyright of the poems resides with the poets and they will retain the right to use or publish all worked entered for the AVBOB Poetry Competition after closure of the competition.
Notification of winners
  1. Prize-winners will be notified in the second half of April 2019 and invited to an award ceremony, at a venue and date still to be announced.
  2. Due to the sheer volume of entries, only successful entrants will be notified. Details of the winners will be announced on, as well as to the press, after 2 May 2019.
Evaluation of poems
  1. The decisions of the judging panel relating to this competition are final and binding, and no subsequent correspondence will be entered into.
  2. The judging panel is not obliged to provide feedback or critical comment on individual entries.
  3. Entrants not selected for prizes or shortlisted are free to submit poems entered into the competition for consideration elsewhere (i.e. to other competitions or for publication) after 31 June 2019.

Use of personal information
  1. Your personal information as defined by the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, 2013, may be collected, used and disclosed by AVBOB for competition purposes and other incidental and other functions incidental hereto, including disclosure of the winner's personal information in publications made available to the public throughout the world, by use of online, print and other media services and communication tools. A request to access, update or correct any personal information held by AVBOB should be directed to
  2. By entering the competition, you (and if you are under 18 years of age, your parent or legal guardian) consent to AVBOB using and disclosing any part of your personal information provided as set out above, including, without limitation, the following:
    1. Use in any communications, publications, marketing or promotional activities associated with the competition;
    2. In the event of winning, use and disclosure of your name and photograph(s) for publicity, marketing, promotional and publication purposes, including throughout the world, whether by online, print or other media services and communication tools.
  3. You may withdraw your consent to future use and disclosure of personal information in promotional and marketing activities and publications at any time by written notice to and, upon receipt of such notice, AVBOB will take reasonable steps to cease using and disclosing that personal information as soon as is reasonably possible. In some instances, AVBOB will not be able to cease the use or disclosure, for example, where information has been cached by others.