The pass rate in the Western Cape declined by 2.4% resulting in 79.9% for the matric class of 2020, Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Monday [February 23].

This decline is not unique to the Western Cape, however, as all provinces recorded a drop in pass rate for 2020 – an understandable outcome considering how severely schooling was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Free State is the leading province at 85.1%, a decline of 3.2% from 2019. Gauteng achieved 83.8%, a 3.5% decline from 2019. The Western Cape came in third place with 79.9%.

KwaZulu-Natal achieved 77.6%, a decline of 3.7% from 2019. North West achieved 76.2%, a decline of 10.6% from 20219. Mpumalanga achieved at 73.7%, a 6.6% decline from 2019. Limpopo achieved 68.2%, a 5.0% decline from 2019. Eastern Cape achieved 68.1%, a decline of 8.3% from 2019; and Northern Cape achieved 66.0%, a 10.5% decline from 2019.

Nationally, the overall pass for the class of 2020 is 76.2%, a 5% drop from 81% as compared to the class of 2019.

Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape notes that the province’s pass rate has suffered the least of any of the provinces.

“Our pass rate declined by 2.4% compared to last year, to 79.9%. This impact is lower than the average national decrease of 5.1%, and the lowest decline of any of the provinces,” she said in a statement.

“While we have seen a decline in the “pass rate”, there are many things to celebrate.  Despite the lockdown, the disruption to the school calendar, and the uncertainty throughout the year, we have seen that the quality of our matric passes has once again improved, as has the overall retention rate from Grade 10.”

The number and percentage of bachelor’s passes have increased to the province’s highest level ever of 43.8%. Out of the 51 633 candidates that wrote in the Western Cape, 22 634 achieved a Bachelor pass.

There were 66.6% of Western Cape learners from Grade 10 in 2018 who wrote their matric in 2020, the highest proportion in the country. This has increased steadily over the past two years.

The Western Cape also boasted the top two candidates in Mathematics nationally for the second year in a row.

Here are a few of the province’s top achievers honoured by Motshekga:

Top candidates:

– 3rd place in Quintile 5 and Nationally: Sonica Roux (Outeniqua HS)

– 2nd place in Quintile 3: Ayabukwa Nombela (Manzomthombo SS)

– Special Ministerial Award: Sonja Jamima Jonkers (Jan Kriel School)


– 1st place in Mathematics: Daniel Alwyn Gouws (Hermanus HS)

– 2nd place in Mathematics: Veren Naidoo (Rondebosch Boys HS)

Matric results will be released nationally on Tuesday, February 24 and learners can collect their results from their schools from midday.

Alternatively, visit they can visit the Western Cape Education Department website to check their results from midday:

Picture: Facebook / South African Government

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