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The Western Cape sees a minor increase in matric pass rate, but now placed 4th overall

Husnaa Haffeje from Al-Falaah College in KwaZulu-Natal, and Kelly Grace Prowse from Rustenburg Girls High, in the Western Cape. Picture: SAgovnews/Twitter

Husnaa Haffeje from Al-Falaah College in KwaZulu-Natal, and Kelly Grace Prowse from Rustenburg Girls High, in the Western Cape. Picture: SAgovnews/Twitter

Published Jan 20, 2023


Cape Town – While the Western Cape has recorded a 0.2% increase over 2021’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric results, it has slipped to the fourth-best performing province.

Last year, the Western Cape matric pass rate was 81.2%.

This was after suffering a knock from the Covid-19 pandemic when the pass rate dropped to 79.9% in 2020.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national NSC results on Thursday evening, where she noted that the overall results had increased to 80.1%.

This is an improvement of 3.7% over 2021’s results, and the second highest pass rate since 2019, according to the minister.

In all, 922 034 matric learners sat the 2022 exams, which is an increase of 2.6% over 2021.

Of the 1.18 million learners that started school in 2011, roughly 775 000 learners were retained to all the way through to Grade 12.

“The number of learners reaching Grade 12 has increased progressively. We are incrementally improving learner retention, which is no wonder that the class of 2022 has improved, a signal that our system is incrementally addressing the concerns related to dropout and repetitions rates ... concerns that have been raised by a number of South Africans,” Motshekga said.

The Western Cape has fallen from being the third best-performing province to fourth when compared with how all the provinces fared.

  • The Free State is the leading province at 88.5%, an improvement of 2.8% from 2021
  • Gauteng achieved 84.4%, a 1.6% increase from 2021
  • KwaZulu-Natal achieved 83.8%, an increase of 6.2% from 2021 – this is the highest improvement
  • Western Cape achieved 81.4%, an improvement of 0.2% from 2021
  • North West achieved 79.8%, an improvement of 1.6% from 2021
  • The Eastern Cape achieved 77.0%, an improvement of 4.2% from 2021 – the third highest improvement
  • Mpumalanga achieved 76.8%, a 2.9% increase from 2020
  • The Northern Cape achieved 74.2%, a 2.7% improvement from 2021
  • Limpopo achieved 72.1%, a 5.3% improvement from 2021 – the second highest improvement

Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier has said that the department is delighted that the Western Cape matric class of 2022 has beaten the odds.

He said that the province recorded 49 102 candidates passing their exams, which is “the largest number of successful candidates we’ve ever had”.

The matric results for 2022 show that the Western Cape’s results are most in line with that of last year, and 2018.

The Western Cape matric pass rate since 2010 has been as follows:

  • 2010 – 76.7%
  • 2011 – 82.9%
  • 2012 – 82.8%
  • 2013 – 85.1%
  • 2014 – 82.2%
  • 2015 – 84.7%
  • 2016 – 86.0%
  • 2017 – 87.3%
  • 2018 – 81.5%
  • 2019 – 82.3%
  • 2020 – 79.9%
  • 2021 – 81.2%

The Western Cape did well in the quintile 5 performance where all top 3 performing learners came from the province.

On of the two top learners in the country came from the Western Cape - Kelly Grace Prowse from Rustenburg Girls High (Public Schools), and Husnaa Haffeje from Al-Falaah College (Independent Schools) in KwaZulu-Natal.

Maynier added that the class of 2022 was one of the last to go back to school in 2020, and that have faced a number of challenges from having their curriculum trimmed, to not having any exam practice in Grade 10 and 11.

“In matric, they have struggled with the ongoing challenge of load shedding. While we were able to conduct all of our exams successfully despite the power cuts, they left many learners in the dark in the evenings when they needed to study.

“Candidates in Cape Town had the added disruption of a major taxi strike during their exams. Due to the extraordinary efforts of our schools, parents, and learners, our candidates were all able to write their exams during the strike,” he said.

“We thank everyone who played a role in supporting our candidates, especially our matric teachers who have done a phenomenal job in tough circumstances to prepare their learners.”

He also commended the unbeatable spirit of the 2022 matrics.

“Faced with the challenges of the pandemic and load-shedding, they could have been tempted to give up. But they showed incredible grit, and gave their all, putting in hundreds of extra hours of work, and investing in their own futures.

“We are so proud of them, and we can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Cape Argus