Class of 2012 does it better

[Image] Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced an increase in the matric pass rate for 2012.
(Image: Department of Basic Education)

Steve Mabua
Department of Basic Education
+27 12 357 4026 / 4036


South Africa’s matric pass rate has been announced – 73.9% of pupils made the grade, up 3.7% from the 70.2% who passed at the end of 2011.

“Hearty congratulations to the matrics,” said basic education minister Angie Motshekga, announcing the results in Johannesburg on 2 January. She said significant measures had been taken to encourage the momentous improvement in the results.

“To the learners who have excelled, the world is your oyster and this country needs you. To those who did not, there is room for improvement,” she said, reminding pupils of the various options that were available to them to help improve their results.

“Do not lose heart,” encouraged Motshekga. “This is not the end of the world. We all learn from trial and error. Remember, if you are disappointed with your results, do not panic or think you must deal with it on your own.”

The minister advised unhappy pupils to seek advice and support from their teachers or counselors from the basic education department. She said they could also contact CHILDLINE on their toll free number – 0800 055 555 – and from there be redirected to the appropriate regional office.

Motshekga’s deputy Enver Surty echoed her words. “I’d like to congratulate the class of 2012 for their achievements… For those who didn’t make it, there surely is a second chance.”

More information is available on the department’s website.

The country’s top achievers were honoured at a special awards ceremony after the announcement. Out of the 27 pupils who were recognised, 15 came from Limpopo province. They all agreed that determination, focus and hard work were the reason for their success, and said that it’s never too early in the year to prepare for the final exams.

Overall improvement

In 2012, 623 897 candidates sat for the National Senior Certificate exams compared to 496 090 in 2011. More than 7.8-million question papers were printed and sent to exam centres, while 7.4-million scripts were distributed to marking centres as part of the national exams.

In 2012, 26.6% of Grade 12 pupils qualified for bachelor’s studies – this is an increase from 24.3% in 2011.

There was also a significant improvement in the key subjects of mathematics (54%, up from 46.3% in 2011) and physical science (up to 61.3% from 53.4% in 2011).

The pass rate for accounting was 65.6%; for geography it was 75.8%; for economics it was 72.8%;and for history it was 86%.

Out of the nine provinces, Gauteng achieved the best pass rate – its 83.9% was up 2.8% from 2011’s 81.1%.

The Western Cape achieved 82.8%, down from 82.9% in 2011, a decline of 0.1%, and the Free State achieved 81.1%, up from 75.7%, an improvement of 5.4%. This was the second largest improvement by a province after the Northern Cape.

The North West achieved 79.5%, up from 77.8%, an improvement of 1.7%. The Northern Cape achieved 74.6%, up from 68.8% in 2011, representing the largest improvement by a province, of 5.9%. KwaZulu-Natal achieved 73.1%, an improvement from 68.1% in 2011, an increase of 5.0%.

Limpopo achieved 66.9%, up from 63.9% of 2011, an improvement of 3.0%, while Mpumalanga achieved 70%, up from 64.8% and an improvement of 5.2%. The Eastern Cape achieved 61.6% in 2012 up from 58.1% in 2011, an increase of 3.5%.