Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga File photo: INLSA

Parliament - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Friday said she was confident her department and learners were ready for the upcoming matric examinations which start in mid-October.

Briefing journalists in Pretoria and a via video link to Cape Town, Motshekga said systems have been put in place to protect the integrity of the exams given leaks of papers in previous years.

"The Department has been working tirelessly to ensure that the examinations are up to standard and that this year there are no irregularities," she said.

"Registration of NSC Examinations Centres and candidates has been completed and final verification of the data is currently underway."

A total of 636 814 full-time students have been registered for the 2017 National Senior Certificate exams, while 161 475 part-time students are expected to sit.

The highest number of matric pupils enrolled are in KwaZulu-Natal with 169 023 followed by Gauteng with 112 164. Limpopo has 110 639 matric enrollments and the Eastern Cape 92 755.

Motshekga said at a meeting of the Council of Education Ministers, comprising all nine education MECs, that it was decided that as far as possible provinces will provide additional support to struggling pupils who have not performed well in the mid-year exams.

"Based on the Profile of 2017 learner cohort, the support and interventions provided in the system, we are confident learners are ready for the 2017 examinations albeit some changes in the subjects," she said.

The minister said steps have been put in place to ensure security at centres where exam papers have been stored.

"To avert leakage of 2017 question papers, all 212 storage points across the country have been audited to ensure compliance with the minimum security standards. Storage points that do not comply will not be allowed to store question papers."

Matric exams are set to begin next month.