Almost two-thirds of pupils do not pay school fees in South Africa, Statistics SA (StatsSA) said on Thursday.
"Of these, 96.5% attended no-fee schools," according to the Stats SA General Household Survey 2011 released in Pretoria on Thursday.
The number of pupils benefiting from no-fee schools had increased sharply over the past five years, since the government introduced new policies in 2006, said Niel Roux, chief survey statistician.
Forty percent of schools in South Africa were declared no-fee schools from 2007. These ranked among the poorest fifth of schools in the country.
The percentage of pupils at no-fee schools had increased from 0.7% in 2002 to 56% in 2011, Stats SA said.