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From inmates to top districts: Five things you need to know from 2020 matric results announcement

23 February 2021 - 07:00 By cebelihle bhengu
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced the 2020 matric results on Thursday. File picture.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced the 2020 matric results on Thursday. File picture.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has praised teachers and parents for played a big role in saving the 2020 academic year.

The minister said this on Monday as she released the 2020 matric results.

Motshekga said the department lost about a term as schooling was halted for months, because of the pandemic.

This contributed to a  decline in this year's pass rate to 76.2% from 81.3% in 2019.

The minister said she was fairly pleased with this outcome and admitted that she expected “a bloodbath”.

Here are five important highlights from her address:

Progressed pupils 

70,560 pupils were progressed from grade 11 in 2019 to grade 12 in 2020 and 65,000 of them sat for the final exams. Motshekga said pupils performed well despite having not received the extra support they needed due to teacher absenteeism.

“More than 24,000 of them passed. More than 3,000 of them got bachelor passes without extra support. More than 10,000 got diploma passes,” said Motshekga.


The minister said 124 inmates wrote the exams and 71 of them got bachelor passes. 23 got diplomas and 13 obtained a higher certificate. This translates to 83.6%. 

More boys passed, but more girls achieved bachelor passes 

“76.7% of the boys that wrote passed against 75.8% of the girls. More girls obtained bachelor passes and more girls than boys got diploma passes. Nationally, there are 36.4% bachelor passes compared to 36.9% in 2019,” said the minister.

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Top performing provinces:  

  • Free State — 85.1%
  • Gauteng — 83.8% 
  • Western Cape — 79.9% 
  • KwaZulu-Natal — 77.6% 

Top-performing districts 

The Free State had three of the top performing districts nationally, while Tshwane South was the top performing district nationally for the second time in a row. Six of the top ten districts are in Gauteng.

  • Tshwane South- 89.6%;
  • Gauteng West - 88.1%;
  • Gauteng North - 87.0%;
  • Johannesburg North - 86.9%; 
  • Sedibeng East, Gauteng - 86.8%;
  • Fezile Dabi, Free State - 86.5%;
  • Thabo Mofutsanyane, Free State - 85.8%;
  • Metro North in the Western Cape and Ekurhuleni South in Gauteng - 85.4%;
  • Motheo, Free State - 85.2%