President Ramaphosa lauds 2019 matric class

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the class of 2019 on achieving a 81.3% matric pass rate which is the highest since the advent of democracy in 1994.

“These results are a triumph and a clear signal that government’s substantial investment in education, in pupil and teacher support and in educational infrastructure is yielding results,” said President Ramaphosa following the announcement of the national results of the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric exams.

The results were released by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday evening at VodaWorld in Midrand. This is the first time the combined matric pass rate has breached the 80% threshold.

Motshekga announced that 787 717 candidates sat for the NSC examinations countrywide. 

The 2019 pass rate represents a 3.1% improvement from 2018 when the national pass rate stood at 78.2%.

“South Africans can be proud that education, like most aspects of our nation’s development, is on an upward trajectory which should inspire all of us to work together to accelerate and maintain excellence,” said the President.

The results also revealed that there had been an increase in the number of female learners achieving bachelor’s passes.

“There has also been an increase in the number of female learners achieving bachelor’s passes, the Eastern Cape recorded the highest improvement in the matric pass rate, and not one of the country’s 75 districts performed below 60% – these are stellar achievements,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President noted that the increase in the matric pass rate in quintile one, two and three schools was indicative that the divide between so-called ‘rich’ schools and poorer schools was steadily narrowing.

In announcing the results Minister Motshekga pointed to the increase in specialised schools offering subjects like agricultural studies and maritime studies as well as the introduction of subjects such as entrepreneurship into the national curriculum.

“These are critical subjects that will enable us to meet the needs of our economy and prepare our young people for the workplace of the future: in this regard the Class of 2019 are pioneers,” said the President.

Meanwhile the President has encouraged successful matriculants to take advantage of the diverse opportunities on offer in the higher education system as well as programmes for the development of entrepreneurship and self-employment.

“To the Class of 2019, you have done yourselves proud and returned the investment made in you by your families, teachers, communities and mentors,” he said.

Providing support to all learners

He also encouraged candidates who did not attain the Senior Certificate to make use of the Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance programme.

“Do not be discouraged, but courageously persevere towards your goals,” said President Ramaphosa adding that government would continue to provide support to learners to complete their education.

Government will also address weaknesses in the system that result in high numbers of learners who enter the education system in Grade 1 and end up not completing their schooling. 
President Ramphosa also urged learners across all grades to embrace learning as a lifelong and pleasurable pursuit that not only adds economic value and enhances employability, but enhances people’s outlook on life and their contribution to society beyond the world of work. – ������a

2019 Matric class scores 81.3% pass

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The 2019 Grade 12 class has scored an impressive 81.3% National Senior Certificate pass, the country’s highest achievement ever.

Releasing the results on Tuesday evening at VodaWorld, in Midrand, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga saluted the 2019 class for recording the achievement.

A total of 790 405 candidates sat for 147 question papers in 7 416 examination centres nationwide. A further 212 learners wrote at correctional facilities.

In another groundbreaking development, the Minister revealed none of the country’s 75 districts scored lower than 60%.

A breakdown of the results saw the Free State (88.4%) reclaim the top spot it relinquished to the Gauteng province in the previous year. With 87.2%, Gauteng dropped to second place. The North West (86.8%) and the Western Cape (82.3%) followed, respectively.

With 81.3%, KwaZulu-Natal followed, thanks largely to a marked 5% improvement from the 2018 class.  

Mpumalanga (80.3%) was next, followed by a tie of Eastern Cape and North Cape with 76.5%. Limpopo came in last with 73.2%.

Motshekga said: “Districts are a crucial interface of the basic education sector in identifying best practice, sharing information and providing support to schools. The continued growth in the performance of districts is closely monitored and evaluated by both provincial and national departments.”

Ten districts, six in Gauteng, scored above 80%. In poll position is Tshwane South with 93%, followed by Gauteng North (90.7%) and Tshwane (90.6%), all from Gauteng. The top 10 included Fezile Dabi, 90.3% (Free State), Namaqua, 89.9% (Northern Cape), Bojanala Platinum 89.6% (North West), Sedibeng 89.6% (Gauteng), Xhariep 88.9% (Free State), Ekurhuleni North 88.8% and Johannesburg West (88.7%).

The results, she said, were a further indication that the country’s basic education system has been on a steady rise.

“The MECs are here, when we started this term we agreed that education would be the architecture of this country. We have to make sure that we improve,” she said.

“As you can see, all our provinces have performed above 70%, which is what we have been aiming for,” the Minister said, singling out Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal for their marked improvements.

“To colleagues in the sector, I’m ready to leave – you can go tell the President,” said the Minister jokingly.

Gauteng has the highest number of bachelor passes, while the Western Cape recorded the highest number distinctions. The 2019 class secured an 8% increase in bachelor passes from the previous year, while distinctions increased by 2%. The class secured 186 058 NSC bachelor passes.

“A majority of our learners – 65% – passed with a bachelors or a diploma. It is very important to note that 337 730 candidates, achieved these and are eligible to study at institution of higher learning,” she said.

A total of 78 984 are can study at technical and vocational education training. –

SA urged to be innovators in the 4IR

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

South Africa must not be relegated to catching up to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) but must be part of the innovators, says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“We must not only respond to what others have produced because that will often give rise to additional challenges. Research and Development funding has to be prioritised by the sector, especially governments,” the Minister said. 

The Minister was on Monday addressing the Southern African Transport Conference at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Tshwane.

“The pace at which Industry 4.0 innovation-breakthroughs are occurring is unprecedented and foreseen to grow faster, and so is the diffusion worldwide. The speed of diffusion compels companies and governments to change from the ‘business as usual’ way of doing things,” Mbalula said.

The Minister said recent transport technologies are evolving at such a rapid pace and it is vital that transport regulations be revised to accommodate technological innovations.

The Minister said the World Bank suggests that transport in the near future will be characterised by being “connected, data driven, shared, on-demand, electric and highly automated”.

It is also expected to be more sensitive towards climate change pressures, and for externalities to be internalised by respective sources. 

“These changes in transport technologies are consequently in tandem with the notion of global climate change, as a consequence of the combustion of fossil fuels by most vehicles. This remains a major environmental challenge currently facing Southern Africa and the world at large.

“The large-scale combustion of fossil fuels also contributes to the change in the composition of the earth’s atmosphere. The result is a general process of global warming and if it continues unattended, will lead to significant changes in rainfall patterns and frequent, extreme weather events,” Mbalula said.

To respond to these disruptive factors, government is committed to significantly reduce transport’s contribution to national Green House Gases emissions, through the implementation of the Green Transport Strategy (GTS).

The strategy is aimed at minimising the adverse impact of transport on the environment, while addressing current and future transport demands. 

“As a stepping stone, as government, we need to actively promote investment in the production of biogas, the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), as well as fuel cell and solar powered Electric Vehicles (EVs). In addition, there is currently no policy or regulatory framework that determines the requirements, norms and standards for cleaner fossil fuels in South Africa. 

“There is also no policy or incentive scheme that rewards users of cleaner fuels and cleaner fossil fuels. This is perhaps an area we need to pay particular attention to across government,” he said. –

Tito Mboweni announced as new Finance Minister

Former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni has been sworn in as South Africa’s new Finance Minister.

This comes after outgoing Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, submitted a letter of resignation on Tuesday morning to President Cyril Ramaphosa, requesting to be relieved of his duties.

President Ramaphosa made the announcement in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“Over the course of the last few days there has been much discussion among South Africans on matters that arose in the course of the testimony of Minister Nhlanhla Nene at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

“As a consequence of these developments, Minister Nene submitted a letter of resignation this morning in which he requested that I relieve him of the position of the Minister of Finance,” the President said.

He said Nene had indicated that there is risk that the developments around his testimony will detract from the important task of serving the people of South Africa, particularly as government works to re-establish public trust.

The President’s announcement comes after Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko told journalists on Tuesday that there had been engagements between the President and Nene following his testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice, Judge Raymond Zondo.

Following his testimony to the commission last week, Nene released a statement apologising to South Africans for his lapse in judgement after his earlier statement during a TV interview that he had not gone to meet members of the Gupta family, except for at public functions.

Briefing journalists on Tuesday, the President said after due consideration of the evidence presented by Nene at the Commission, and in the interests of good governance, he took a decision to accept Nene’s resignation.

The President took some time to thank Nene for having served the people and the government of South Africa with “diligence and ability”.

He said that under difficult circumstances and often under great pressure, Nene consistently defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance.

“It is a measure of his character and his commitment to the national interest that he has taken this decision to resign in the wake of errors of judgment, even though he has not been implicated in acts of wrongdoing,” he said.

Mboweni returns

After a brief stint as advisor to the Reserve Bank Governor between July 1998 and July 1999, Mboweni was appointed as the Governor in August 1999.

Mboweni was appointed to several positions during his tenure. This includes his appointment as the honorary Professor of Economics by the University of South Africa between 2000 and 2003 as well as being elected Chancellor of the University of the North West and he was installed as Chancellor in February 2002.

In April of 2002, Mboweni was appointed as the Governor Professor Extraordinary in Economics and served in that capacity until 31 March 2005.

On Tuesday, the President said that having served as a Minister of Labour before being appointed as a Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mboweni brings a wealth of experience “in the areas of finance, economic policy and governance”.

“Mr Mboweni takes on this responsibility at a critical moment for our economy, as we intensify cooperation among all social partners to increase investment, accelerate growth and create jobs on a substantial scale.

“This moment calls for strong, capable and steady leadership that will unlock new opportunities as we grow and transform our economy.

“I am confident that Mr Mboweni will provide that leadership.”

Commission of Inquiry on State Capture

The President said, meanwhile, it was critical the Commission has the means and opportunity to effectively fulfil its mandate.

He said during this process, no person should be above scrutiny, and all relevant and credible accusations of wrongdoing should be thoroughly investigated.

“It is incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the Commission’s mandate to provide that information to the Commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully.

“For the country to move forward, we need to establish the full extent of state capture, identify those responsible for facilitating it, and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again.

“Throughout this process, we need to be guided by the values and principles of our Constitution, mindful of the importance of due process, committed to good governance, and determined that, with the support of all South Africans, the Commission of Inquiry will succeed in fulfilling its critical mandate,” he said. –

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