Congratulations to the Class of 2019! | Western Cape Government


Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

7 January 2020

This evening Minister Motshekga announced the national matric results.  I would like to congratulate all provinces that have achieved improvements in the quality of their pass rates.

In general, I am very pleased with the performance of the Western Cape, especially given the difficulties that we are facing as a result of inadequate funding and safety concerns.  I would like to congratulate all our learners, teachers and administrative staff, who have put in an immense effort.

Highlights for us are:

  1. The Western Cape Province has maintained an above 80% pass rate, achieving an increased percentage pass rate from 81.5% in 2018 to 82.3% in 2019.
  2. I am also delighted that the Western Cape achieved a trifecta in terms of the top three candidates in the country overall, and the top two in Mathematics.  

Top candidates

  • Madelein Dippenaar from Paarl Gimnasium High School - number one in the country
  • Gary Allen from Rondebosch Boys High School – second in the country
  • Anuoluwa Makinde from Milnerton High School - third in the country.    


  • Timothy Murphy from Rondebosch Boys High School - top mathematics candidate in the country
  • Ivan Badenhorst from Outeniqua High School second in Mathematics in the country.

These are wonderful individual achievements, and as a province we are very proud of you.


  1. The number and percentage of Bachelor passes has increased – 21 981 candidates achieved a Bachelor pass, equaling 43.6% of candidates in this Province, compared to 42.3% last year.
  2. The Western Cape achieved the highest percentage of distinctions in the country.


The pass rates need to be seen in the context of the retention rate from Grade 10-12, as it can be tempting to cull learners between Grades 10 and 12 in order to enhance the matric pass rate. If we consider Grade 10 enrolment in 2017 (both public and independent schools) to those that wrote (both public and independent schools) I am pleased that we have seen an improvement in retention of those entering Grade 10 in 2017 and those entering to write the NSC in 2019 from 62.9% in 2018 to 64.3.% in 2019.   

Another very important factor to analyse is the number and percentage of learners writing the MEO (Multiple Exam Opportunity). While some Provinces have up to 20% of their candidates taking the MEO examination, the Western Cape has only 3%. This again is the lowest in the country, indicating that more learners are being given the opportunity to write and complete the full examination, whilst still retaining an over 80% pass rate.  

The important fact about this is that the results of those writing the MEO, who are usually weaker learners, are not included in the pass percentage.  This can give an artificial view of the improvements.  I am therefore pleased that the Minister announced last year that this is the last year that the MEO will be permitted.  

We will comment further tomorrow on our overall performance, but for now I would like to say to the Western Cape Class of 2019 – Congratulations!

Media Enquiries: 

Kerry Mauchline
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education
084 210 3003 (Whatsapp preferred)