LIVE BLOG: 2021 matric pass rate is 76.4%, up 0.2% from 2020

Minister Angie Motshekga announces the results of the 2021 NSC final exams.

WATCH LIVE: NSC 2021 MATRIC RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT

Motshekga has ended her address.

Motshekga thanks parents for supporting their kids through the difficulties of the pandemic.

"Once again, let me conclude by thanking the Class of 2021.  Your future is in the palm of your hands; make the correct choices.  Those candidates who did not do well in the NSC exams, do not despair.  There are lots of life chances available.  Those who wish to improve their results, should enrol for the Second Chance Matric Programme.  Registration into the Programme, is already open, and will close on 15 February 2022.  You will receive support from the DBE and our partners; you won’t be left to your own vices.  I wish you all the best in your youthful lives."

"I must thank His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cabinet, the Portfolio and Select Committees responsible for Basic Education, my partner, the Honourable Deputy Minister – Dr Reginah Mhaule, the Honourable MECs responsible for Basic Education and their respective Heads of Departments for their stewardship, their leadership and their continued advice and support.  I must thank the Director-General and his team of selfless officials for the hard work they continue to provide."

"Schools are at the coalface of Basic Education delivery.  What you do at the school level, is what matters the most.  The future of our learners, and the prosperity of our nation, is in your hands.  We applaud you for the great work you continue to do on a daily basis."

"In celebrating the great achievements of the Class of 2021, we must thank the principals, teachers, support staff, and parents for the work they continue to do."

"We will continue expend our energies on our Sector priorities.  We must continue with the consolidation of programmes for ECD; we must ramp up the performance in all the four phases of our schooling system; we must continue to improve the reading proficiency of our learners; we must work harder, but smarter with all our partners to consolidate the gains we have made in the Skills Revolution through the Three-Stream Curriculum Model and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, amongst others; and we must continue to strengthen the assessment regime in all four Phases of the system."

"These two Classes, have characterised the resilience of the system, which withstood an unprecedented test of administering an examination of the largest number of candidates; faced by the worst pandemic in human history."

"The Classes of 2020 and 2021 produced the best results of quality in the history of the NSC exams.  We are of the strong view that, had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, these two Classes could have been the best performers, since the inception of the NSC exams.  We are indeed proud of the Classes of 2020 and 2021, which persevered against such monumental challenges that our system was never exposed to in the past." 

"The high quality passes we have achieved this year, especially the number of Bachelor and Diploma passes, the overall pass mark, and the passes with distinctions, even in critical subjects, are the hallmarks of the performance of the Class of 2021."

"The fact that we managed to enrol the highest number of full-time candidates for the 2021 NSC exams, is a clear sign that our communities have faith in the Basic Education system, and the NSC exams we are coordinating.  What South Africa may not know, is the reality that the majority of our independent schools, prefer to write our NSC examinations, rather than those offered by independent examinations bodies.  This is a great story to tell."

"In conclusion, there is no doubt that the system has begun to reach the desired stability; which is healthy for a large system, as large and important as ours.  The unquestionable resilience our school community has shown against such a devastating pandemic; cannot go by unnoticed."

"I am looking forward to our next district meeting, where we share best practices, information, and experiences.  District Directors are the closest to our schools and our children.  Thank you very much."

The 3 district level performances in the country in the descending order, are – 

First, is Tshwane South from Gauteng with 89.3%;

Second, is Motheo in the Free State with 87.9%;

Third, is Fezile Dabi in the Free State, with 87.5%.

Leading district nationally is Tshwane South at 89.3%

Northern Cape achieved at 71.4%, a 5.4% improvement from 2020 – the highest improvement.

Limpopo achieved at 66.7%, a 1.5% decline from 2020.

NW achieved at 78.2%, an improvement of 2.0% from 2020.

KZN achieved at 76.8%, a decline of 0.8% from 2020.

MP achieved at 73.6%, a 0.1% decline from 2020.

Eastern Cape achieved at 73.0%, an improvement of 4.9% from 2020 – the second highest improvement.

Free State is the leading province at 85.7%, an improvement of 0.6% from 2020.

Gauteng achieved at 82.8%, a 1.0% decline from 2020.

Western Cape achieved 81.2%, an improvement of 1.3% from 2020.

433,603 candidates – equivalent to 61.6%, who achieved Bachelor and Diploma passes, are now eligible for studies at Higher Education Institutions. 

KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal contributed the most Bachelor passes in the combined Bachelor passes of 117,704, which is equivalent to 46.0% of the overall Bachelor passes nationally.

The 2021 Bachelor passes in number, is the highest attained in the entire history of the NSC exams.

The number of candidates qualifying for admission to Bachelor studies at universities, is 256,031, an improvement of 21.4% from 2020.  

177,572 diplomas were achieved.

The 2021 matric pass rate is 76.4% up from 76.2% in 2020.

76% of boys who wrote exams passed, the same % for girls too.

120 prisoners wrote matric, they achieved a 89% pass rate.

Motshekga says they concede challenges still remain in their sector, inequalities persist. Interventions by the department have improved retention and access to schooling.

Over 61,000 learners were progressed to matric from grade 11 in 2021.

A total of 897,163 pupils registered to sit for the NSC exams. 733,198 were full time, 163,965 were part-time. Over 3,000 passed with a bachelor's requirement.


The class of 2021 is the 8th to write under the CAPS curriculum.

Umalusi also approved the release of the results.

Umalusi declared the 2021 exams had no irregularities, also known as leaks, which have plagued the exams in recent years.

Motshekga says the class of 2021 sat for exams in a hostile environment.

Interventions by the department are multi-pronged.

The department's intervention caters for both under and high achievers to address deficiencies. 

Government is focusing on policies that improve quality teaching and learning.

In Feb to March this year, a systemic evaluation study will be introduced for grades 3 - 9 to give a picture of the impact of COVID on the SA school system.

She says they continue to review strategies during COVID-19.

Motshekga says they worked tirelessly to balance the need to save lives and save the academic year.

"The class fo 2021 was the most affected by the COVID-19 because they had endure two unrelenting years of exposure to the pandemic."

Minister Motshekga will now deliver her address.

Makhathini says the SABC will continue supporting learners through its programmes.

Makhathini says the SABC launched a channel in 2020 to allow learners to continue learning while at home during the start of the pandemic.

The SABC's Bongumusa Makhathini does the official welcoming remarks

The class of 2019 achieved a pass rate of 81.3%, the highest in democratic SA.

The class of 2020 achieved a pass rate of 76%

The class of 2021 is the second cohort of matrics who had to endure extraordinary challenges, having written their exams under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga will tonight announce the passrate of the NSC 2021 matric exams.