South Africa’s matric pass rate: 2008 to 2019

The Department of Education has announced the overall matric result for 2019, revealing a pass mark of 81.3%.

This marks a 3.1 percentage point increase from 2018, which continued an upward trend which began in 2016.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga delivered the results for the National Senior Certificate, on Tuesday afternoon (7 January 2020) noting that over 790,405 learners sat the exams.

Motshekga said the examinations progressed well, except for a few hiccups that included load-shedding experienced in parts of the country on the first day, and service-delivery protests in the North-West which led to the relocation of learners to other examination centres.

South Africa’s reported matric pass rate has improved significantly over the past decade, climbing from 62.5% in 2008. During this time, the education system has changed several times.

The class of 2019, was the sixth cohort to be exposed to the CAPS curriculum.

Under the presidency of Jacob Zuma, the matric pass rate started to increase, with 2014’s drop of 2.4 percentage points in the rate marking the first time in the Zuma years that the matric pass rate recorded a decline. This was followed by a 5 percentage point drop in 2015.

The table below shows how the reported matric pass rates have changed between 2008 and 2018.

Year Pass rate Change
2008 62.5% -2.7
2009 60.6% -1.9
2010 67.8% +7.2
2011 70.2% +2.4
2012 73.9% +3.7
2013 78.2% +4.3
2014 75.8% -2.4
2015 70.7% -5.1
2016 72.5% +1.8
2017  75.1%  +2.6
2018 78.2% +3.1
2019 81.3% +3.1

Read: Here are South Africa’s IEB matric results for 2019

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South Africa’s matric pass rate: 2008 to 2019