South Africa’s official matric pass rate for 2021 is 76.4%, a marginal increase from the 76.2% pass rate of 2020.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced the results on Thursday, 20 January 2022.
A total of 897,163 matrics registered to write the 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations, of which 733,198 were full-time candidates.
Motshekga said that 36.4% of matric students (256,031) achieved a bachelor’s pass, and 25.2% (177,572) achieved a diploma pass. 14.8% (103,859) achieved a higher certificate pass. Only 103 (0.01%) achieved a pass without possibility of entry into any institution of higher learning.
The class of 2021 is the first to suffer the actualities of two years of the Covid-19 pandemic in succession, having studied through restrictions in Grade 11 and, to a lesser extent, Grade 12.
“It is therefore, correct to contextualise the hostile environment within which the class of 2021 sat for their 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations, an environment that none of the previous cohorts of learners were ever exposed to in the past.”
The first 2021 matric examination was written on 27 October, and students sat the final exam on 6 December.
Umalusi approved the release of the 2021 matric examination results on Tuesday, 18 January 2022.
However, the council has prohibited the Department of Basic Education (DBE) from publishing the results of candidates involved in group copying and those who got access to the question papers early.
Umalusi chairperson John Volmink said that these issues need to be investigated.
Until recently, the publication of individual matric results was in question, with the DBE deciding it would not publish learners’ results on public platforms to avoid running afoul of the Protection of Personal Information Act.
The Information Regulator later issued a clarifying statement explaining that the DBE could continue posting results to public platforms if it first allowed learners to opt-out.
However, the Pretoria High Court ruled that the DBE should publish matric results publicly, including in newspapers and online.
Provincial pass rates
Motshekga announced the matric pass rates for South Africa’s nine provinces as follows:
- Free State — 85.7%
- Gauteng — 82.8%
- Western Cape — 81.2%
- North West — 78.2%
- KZN — 76.8%
- Mpumalanga — 73.6%
- Eastern Cape — 73%
- Northern Cape — 71.4%
- Limpopo — 66.7%