Western Cape matrics achieve despite challenges of Covid-19 | Western Cape Government



Western Cape matrics achieve despite challenges of Covid-19

22 February 2021

This afternoon, Minister Angie Motshekga announced the results of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations for 2020. I congratulate all learners who achieved their matric under difficult circumstances and amid great uncertainty.

While all provinces saw their pass rates decline – an understandable outcome during a pandemic that severely disrupted schooling around the world – I am pleased to report that our 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.

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 has increased, to our highest level ever, of 43.8%! 22 634 of the 51 633 candidates that wrote in the Western Cape achieved a Bachelor pass.

Throughout 2020, it has not been easy to determine the real impact of Covid-19 on the Class of 2020 with regards to the retention of learners in the system. Despite many negative predictions, I was pleased to see that the effects were not as bad as some have reported in the Western Cape.

We have always placed great emphasis on ensuring that we keep as many learners in the school system for as long as possible, and that they get the opportunity to write and pass their NSC. The Western Cape continues to ensure that more of our learners from Grade 10 go on to write their matric exams two years later. 66.6% of our learners from Grade 10 in 2018 wrote their matric this year – the highest proportion in the country. This has increased steadily over the past two years.

I am extremely proud of the Class of 2020 which, in these difficult circumstances, chose to #CommitToFinish their matric. This is testimony to their resilience and commitment, but also the hard work and dedication of their teachers, who were under immense strain and pressure to perform in very unusual circumstances. The innovation we also saw during this period in many schools was exemplary. It is also testimony to our “matric parents”, on whom our learners relied for encouragement to continue, and for creating a conducive learning environment.

There is also good news on the Mathematics front, with increases in both the Mathematics (70.8%) and Mathematical Literacy (82.9%) pass rates, as well the Western Cape boasting the top two candidates in Mathematics nationally for the second year in a row.

Today I was pleased to be joined at our Western Cape venue by our top achievers, announced by the national minister:

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)

Very well done to them all.  It was a great pleasure to meet and celebrate with them.

Learners can collect their results from their schools from midday tomorrow, 23 February 2021. Alternatively, visit our website to check the results from midday: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/

For those candidates that did not achieve their desired results, there are options. I would encourage all learners who did not pass their exams not to give up and to continue doing whatever they can to complete Grade 12.

There are measures in place for anyone who is disappointed to receive counselling, either by approaching their school, which will put them in touch with the relevant people in the district offices, or by phoning the Safe Schools Hotline - 0800 45 46 47.

We will elaborate further on our province’s results tomorrow, but for now we wish our resilient and committed Western Cape Class of 2020 a hearty congratulations!

Media Enquiries: 

Kerry Mauchline
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education