Pretoria - Tshwane ruled the roost at the Gauteng province matric results announcement – with city learner after learner going up on stage to be congratulated on their achievements.
The overall matric results were announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday evening and it was clear Gauteng, and in particular Tshwane, had done well, when she named Tshwane South, Gauteng North and Tshwane North as the top three districts nationally.
Details were released yesterday by the Gauteng Provincial MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, who said the province achieved a pass rate of 87.2% and contributed 23% of all national distinctions.
But it was Tshwane that really stole the show, winning in most categories.
The city took top spot in most of the categories, including the top three schools, based on overall results.
In first place was Hoërskool Garsfontein, followed by Hoërskool Waterkloof, and Hoërskool Menlopark. The same three schools took top spots with the highest number of bachelor's passes.
The top performing township school also came from Tshwane, with Bokgoni Technical School in Atteridgeville claiming first place, with Vlakfontein Secondary School in third spot.
Tandukwazi Secondary School in Sebokeng was in second place.
But the show did not end there.
In the category of overall best performing learners, it was Tshwane again with a whitewash. First place was claimed by Megan Olckers from Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool with a total score of 1 728.
Second was Karl van Dyk from Hoërskool Garsfontein and third was Lehlogonolo Letshela from Pretoria High School for Girls.
In the category of top independent school learners, it was Carl Smith with a score of 1 691 who went up to the podium.
For the top three schools for Learners with Special Education Needs, the Transvalia School (Learning Disabilities and Epilepsy) was first followed by New Hope School in Alphen Park.
The top learner in geography went to Eva Tladi from Sikhululekile Secondary School, and she also won the prize for top learner in the Secondary School Improvement Programme.
The top learner for English First Language went to two matriculants at an Afrikaans school: Karla van Dyk and Renate Coetzee both from Hoërskool Garsfontein.
Top learner in life science was Vlleeonnhharrcallicy Moyo from Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School in Mamelodi.
In physical science seven pupils from Gauteng scored perfect marks, and two were from the capital: Moyo from Solomon Mahlangu and Enrique Hlathwayo from Nellmapius Secondary School.
Hlathwayo, with six distinctions, was also honoured nationally as being one of the best achievers from a disadvantaged background.
Lesufi said he was excited about the results as Gauteng did not have one district with less than an 80% pass rate and the three districts of Tshwane South, Gauteng North and Tshwane North topped the table nationally.
“Gauteng (despite coming second to Free State) is still the leading province by virtue of the size of the provincial system. This is despite the increased enrolment compared to 2018,” he said.
More than 30% of pupils (about 30 000) who wrote the exams passed with a diploma pass.
Lesufi said he was excited at how township schools were closing the gap.
Bokgoni Technical School achieved a 100% pass rate in 2019.
This is despite the fact that in 2017 it was one of the worst performing schools in Gauteng.
He also acknowledged Bokamaso High School in Hammanskraal.
“I want to congratulate this school with its tremendous turnaround effort with the pass rate of 92.31% – an increase of over 33%.”
Top achievers were also showered with gifts ranging from bursaries, laptops, trophies and cash prizes to the maximum of R12 500.
In Gauteng, almost 44 000 of the matriculants who sat for their 2019 final exams received bachelor’s degree passes.
“Gauteng contributed the most candidates qualifying for bachelor studies in 2019 – at 43 494. This is up from 41 410 bachelor passes in 2018. Gauteng achieved the best bachelor pass rate of all provinces. Nationally, we contributed 23.4% of all bachelor's (passes) achieved,” Lesufi said.