SA's matric pass rate is highest yet
7 December 2013
South Africa's matric students achieved a pass rate of 78.2% - the highest pass rate
in 20 years, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced in Johannesburg on
The national pass rate for state-set National Senior Certificate increased from 73.9%,
up by 4.3 percentage from the previous year.
Motshekga commended matriculants for their hard work and sleepless nights. "I
congratulate the Class of 2013 for being the best class since the advent of democracy,
and encourage every learner to go further than their predecessors and strive to excel
in higher education, the workplace and in your general contributions as South African
"Last year, I told the Class of 2012 that the world is their oyster and I want to repeat
this to the Class of 2013. Indeed the world is your oyster, go out there and make the
best of this acquired qualification," she said.
The results in
Motshekga said 562 122 full-time candidates sat down to write the 2013 matric
exams – an increase of more than 50&nbps;000 from 2012.
The 78.2% pass rate was a 4.3% increase from the 2012 pass rate of 73.9%. More
than 67 000 distinctions were achieved. A total of 30.6% of matrics obtained
Over the past four years, the pass rate has seen a gradual increase. It has risen from
60.6% in 2009; 6.8% in 2010; and 70.2% in 2011.
"In 1995, when this cohort entered Grade 1, the national pass rate percentage was
53.4% and, 19 years later, the national pass rate percentage is 78.2%.
"When we came into office [in 2009], we had targeted 75% [pass rate] by 2014. Now
at 78.2%, we have surpassed our target with a year to go," Motshekga said.
The pass rate for maths increased to 59.1%, from 54% in 2012. The pass rate for
physical science climbed to 67.4%, up from 61.3% the previous year.
Last year, 551
schools registered a 100% pass rate last year, up from 441 in 2012.
Nine schools around the country received a 0% pass rate and would receive attention
from provincial education departments, said Paddy Padayachee, the acting director-
general of the Department of Basic Education. He said pass rates in virtually all 12
key subjects had improved nationally.
How provinces fared
The Free State led the pack and overtook Gauteng this year as the best performing
province with its overall pass rate of 87.4%, a 6.3 percentage point improvement
from 2012's 81.1% average.
Gauteng achieved 87.2% pass rate, up by 7.7 percentage points from 83.9% in 2012.
It was followed by the Western Cape at 87% (up from 82.8%).
Mpumalanga achieved a 77.6% pass rate - an improvement of 7.6 percentage points
from 70% in 2012.
Motshekga said KwaZulu-Natal's pass rate increased by 4.3 percentage points from
73.1% to 77.4%.
The Northern Cape, Limpopo and
the Eastern Cape had pass rates of 74.5%, 71.8%
and 64.9% pass rates respectively.
"The relatively good performance of Limpopo in the National Senior Certificate is
encouraging. Compared to the relatively poor performance of Limpopo primary school
learners, it is clear that Limpopo's secondary schools are doing an especially good job
of producing quality results compared to the performance in lower grades," Motshekga
Independent Examinations Board results
Pupils writing matric through the Independent Examinations Board achieved
"exceptional results" for 2013, securing a 98.56% pass rate, Business Day reported on
The newspaper says the 10 166 pupils at 185 schools writing the exams
exceeded the previous year’s pass rate of 98.2%, and crowned the 2010 pass rate of
98.53%. The pass rate for 2011 was 98.15%.