Release of the 2017 Matric Results 


For many Grade 12’s, the release of the National Senior Certificate results, signals the end of their schooling career, and the start of a new journey, as they make their way to tertiary institutions to further their education. The foundation we lay during the first twelve years of schooling are critical and plays a pivotal role in determining the success they achieve in life.


The ANC-led government of South Africa considers education as an apex priority in its programmes. Access to basic education are at the heart of our commitment for the future of this country.

The plans for the future of this country are clearly articulated in the National Development Plan (NDP), which is an overarching plan for the country as we journey towards the year 2030. The NDP envisages a South Africa where everyone has access to education of the highest quality, leading to significantly improved outcomes.

Teaching should be a highly valued profession and parents must complement the role of the teacher at home by supporting their children and ensuring that they fulfil their school obligations.  The performance of learners tends to improve when parents are actively involved and take interest in their children’s education. All stakeholders should support the common goal of achieving good educational outcomes that are responsive to community needs and economic development.

The onus is upon us to make the ideals espoused by the NDP a reality. We must join hands and create a solid educational foundation for the future of our children. Access to quality basic education and a commitment to promoting reading are fundamental ingredients in the cultivation of a better life for the future leaders of South Africa.

The commitment displayed by the Northern Cape Department of Education to provide continuous support and guidance to the Class of 2017 was evident through our support programmes, which included:

  • ·         Curriculum Roadshows for teachers addressing weaknesses in learner performance as well as teaching methodology and marking techniques;
  • ·         Development Clinics to assist teachers with lesson planning, teaching methodologies and development of assessment tasks, memoranda and analysis grids; 
  • ·         On site School Support to underperforming and high enrolment schools;
  • ·         Custodianship Programme, where subject advisors adopt a school, to provide intense and radical support to schools which have underperformed in 2016;
  • ·         Introduced a HeyMarth! ICT platform to improve performance in Mathematics;
  • ·         Holiday school: Autumn, Winter and Spring Camps;
  • ·         Other interventions include: Whole weekend lock-inn sessions, Saturday classes, Career Guidance, Cinema sessions, Commpulsory Study Session, to mention a few and lastly;
  • ·         The final push programme, which included intense revision and consolidation of problematic content were instituted and monitored by Head Office and District Office officials.

This annual occasion provides us with the opportunity to reflect and do introspection on the education system we need now and for the future. It also allows us to give recognition to our top achievers who have excelled academically towards their prosperous future.


Examination Administration


Allow me to illustrate the extent of the magnitude of managerial expertise required by the department to succeed.

We used 141 examination centres, 3 marking centres, 657 markers, 124 senior markers, 18 deputy chief markers, 46 chief markers, 46 internal moderators,120 examination assistants and a whopping 162 404 scripts had to be marked and moderated.

The Quality Assurer, Umalusi found that we have sound systems in place and the whole examination process was conducted with integrity. So, our results have been certified by Umalusi as a direct reflection of the ability of our learners, free of irregularities and having been conducted with integrity.


Analysis of the NSC Results


In 2017, a total of 10 519 full-time candidates were registered for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination in the Northern Cape Province.

A total of 8 735 candidates, including our progressed learners completed the NSC Exams, of which 6 608 candidates passed, bringing our overall pass rate to 75,6%, a decline of 3,1% in comparison to 2016. The overall pass rate, excluding our progressed learners is 77,6%.

A total of 1516 progressed learners made use of the Multiple Examination Opportunity, therefore their results will not be taken into consideration for the 2017 NSC results. These learners will complete their National Senior Certificate during the May/June 2018 examinations.

A additional 691 progressed learners opted to complete the 2017 NSC Examinations, of which 365 obtained their National Senior Certificate and reflects a pass rate of 52,8%, a 0,8% decrease in comparison to 2016.

It is important to mention, in the past, this would normally be your learners who drop-out or fail to complete their schooling career. However, in the 2017 NSC Examinations, these learners obtained 22 bachelor passes, 145 diploma passes and 198 higher certificate passes.

It shows that all our efforts were not in vain and we succeeded in changing their future for the better.

Of the 8735 full time candidates that wrote and completed the NSC Examination, 1 538 candidates obtained distinctions, which is a increase of 1,2% and    2 205 candidates obtained access to bachelor’s degree university entrance, a decrease of 0,7%. 2 796 candidates wrote Mathematics and 1 604 candidates passed which constitutes a pass rate of 57,4%, a decrease of 3.4%. 2 344 candidates wrote Physical Science and 1 332 candidates passed which constitutes a pass rate of 56.8%, a decrease of 0.6%. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

The pass rates for our five Districts are as follows;

  • ·         The Namakwa District has recorded the highest pass percentage of 82.9%;
  • ·         ZFM Mgcawu District with a pass percentage of 78%;
  • ·         The Frances Baard District recorded a 75,5% pass rate;
  • ·         The Pixley Ka Seme District a pass percentage of 74,1%;
  • ·         The John Taolo Gaetsewe District recorded a pass percentage of 71,4%.
  • ·         It is worth noting that we had no District performing below 70%.
  • ·         Nine (9) schools have recorded a 100% pass rate in the Province.

 Our Top Schools are listed as follow:

  • ·         Top Quintile 1 school – Bothithong High School
  • ·         Top Quintile 2 school – Tetlanyo High School
  • ·         Top Quintile 3 school – Pitso Jantjie High School
  • ·         Top Quintile 4 school – Hopetown High School
  • ·         Top Quintile 5 school – Kimberley Girls High


Our most improved school is in the John Toalo Gaetsewe District, Ba-Ga-Phadima High School, improving their pass rate, from 28,6% in 2016 to 85,2% in 2017.


We classify a school as underperforming, when the overall pass rate is below 60%.

In this regard, we have 25 underperforming schools, mostly in the Frances Baard District.

Our interventions to underperforming schools will continue as well as unannounced visits to further reduce the number of underperforming schools in our Province.


In this regard we need to assess the impact, as well as the effectiveness of those intervention systems already in place, and come up with more creative and workable solutions to further improve performance in the affected schools as a matter of urgency.

Ladies and Gentleman,


Today we also recognise and acknowledge our top learners who have excelled through sterling academic performance in the 2017 NSC Examinations.


Allow me to acknowledge the presence of the top three candidates in the Province, Josefien Engelbrecht, Petra Laubscher and Mogopodi Molusi.  


Our top candidate in the Province hails from Douglas High School. Congratulations to Josefien Engelbrecht. Josefien, you have proven that hard work and dedication pays off.


Today, we also celebrate excellent achievements in specific subjects. Candidates obtaining level 7’s in subjects such as Accounting, Home languages, Business studies, Life sciences, Mathematics, Physical science, History, Geography, Economics and technical subjects. These candidates will be named and honoured by the Premier later today.


Finally, we will support all candidates that have not made it through these exams. We will provide supplementary programmes to assist learners who qualify for the supplementary examinations.

Learners, who do qualify for the supplementary exams, must apply before the 19 January 2018. We kindly request these learners to register and contact their school or nearest district office for assistance to secure placement at a centre.


Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Head of the Department, Mr GT Pharasi and all Senior and Middle Managers for their administrative leadership.


All District and Circuit officials, Curriculum Directorate, Curriculum Coordinators and all Subject Advisors need special mentioning and have to be acknowledged for the role they have played.

A word of appreciation to the Examination Directorate as well as the District Examination officials for their commitment, involvement and outstanding manner in which they conduct examinations in our Province.


I thank all the unions that operate in this sector and all our dedicated teachers for their outstanding role in assisting the Northern Cape Department of Education into taking our combined efforts to greater heights. I sincerely trust that this cooperation will continue. Please remember that these learners are our children who need our assistance and support at all times.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity once again to extend my sincere thanks to the collective leadership of the ruling party, the ANC, for the necessary guidance and for providing the much needed direction. The Premier of this Province, Ms Sylvia Lucas for her leadership, and all my political colleagues for the unconditional support and invaluable inputs.


The Legislature and its committees have continued to assert their oversight role and I thank them for our constructive engagements.


I also want to thank my family for all their unwavering support, without which I would not be able to manage this important portfolio.


I want to call on everyone to recommit themselves to the strenuous tasks that lie ahead of us in 2018. 


I thank you!