Business salutes Richard Maponya

Monday, January 6, 2020

The business community in South Africa has paid tribute to trailblazing businessman Richard Maponya following his passing on Monday.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI)   conveyed its condolences to the family of the prolific businessman whose career spanned over half a century.

The widely respected businessman passed away in Johannesburg just a few days after his 99th birthday. 

In a statement the chamber saluted the business magnate for rising against the most difficult challenges and odds, to becoming a shining beacon of light for black business during the apartheid era.

Maponya said the SACCI, continued to make a massive contribution to the broader business community in post-apartheid South Africa.

It described Maponya not only as an activist, but a visionary and innovative leader in business and society in general.

 “Dr Maponya was a first amongst equals. It is said that a thermometer measures the temperature, and a thermostat, creates the temperature. Dr Richard Maponya was a thermostat who lit up the business scene for decades with his infectious personality, diligence and brilliance,” said the chamber.

It said Maponya’s legacy will continue to inspire current and future generations of entrepreneurs.

Business Unity SA

Meanwhile Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), said Maponya’s passing represents a sad moment for the country.

“Dr Maponya distinguished himself as a successful businessman at a time when it was extremely difficult for black people to start a business, let alone excel in business. Dr Maponya started from humble beginnings during the apartheid period and fought against apartheid legislation to establish and grow his businesses.”

The non-profit company, representing cross-cutting organised business interests, said Maponya had played a sterling role in the community where he had lived all his life.

“He was a social entrepreneur well before the term was coined and ploughed back into his community as he became successful. He set an example for businesspeople and conducted his business ethically and morally,” said BUSA acting Chief Executive Officer Cas Coovadia.

Earlier in the day, President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to the Maponya saying the country has lost a pioneer who played a role in the transformation of South Africa’s economy.

“We have lost a pioneer, a trailblazer and a man of extraordinary fortitude who paved the way for the racial transformation of the South African economy.”

“Dr Maponya’s life is a testament to resilience, determination and the power of vision: namely to see black business grow to assume its full role as the key participant and driver of our economy,” said President Ramaphosa. –

Top achievers: the pride of the nation

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

South African parents continue to have confidence in South Africa’s public school system because of the performance of the top achieving learners, says Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

“We’ve got a very big system. We have more than 12 million learners in more than 26 000 schools. What is gratifying is that South African parents, rich and poor, continue to have confidence in the public school system because of your performance,” Motshekga said.

Addressing the 2019 top-achieving learners in Midrand on Tuesday, the Minister told the learners that they are the pride of the nation.

“We are very grateful that in the public school system, difficult as it is, poor infrastructure as we have, you still managed to rise and be on top,” the Minister said.

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.

“You are national assets, you are going to take the country to a different level. We don’t have to panic about the people who will drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” she said.

The Minister thanked the 30 learners for their dedication.

“You really make our work very meaningful. You have proven to be the best when you get to university be the best intellectual because we need those skills.

“You are going to be our engineers, doctors, specialists and academics. On an ongoing basis as a country we are growing our timber and this is the timber that is going to save us,” Motshekga said.

She said she is encouraged that the schools that are serving the poor are performing well.

The Minister hosted the top-achieving learners for breakfast. Later this evening she will release the National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric exam results during a live broadcast from Vodaworld in Midrand, at 6pm.

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Mashabela, a top learner for Maths, Sepedi, Geography and Physical Science from Rantobeng Senior Secondary in Limpopo shared how he prepared for the exams.

“I made a study time table which I used to plan my daily sessions. I practiced using previous question papers. This helped me practice how to approach questions during exams and it helped me understand how examiners set questions,” Mashabela said.

He advised learners in the class of 2020 to work hard, be disciplined and focus on school.

Mashabela will be studying Medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.

Eighteen-year-old Madeleine Dippenaar, who went to Paarl Gymnasium High School in the Western Cape, said she worked hard throughout the year and used the September exams as a trial run for the final exam.

She encouraged the class of 2020 to enjoy their last year at school and seize every available opportunity.

“Enjoy your last year at school, this is a year of so many lasts and I would encourage you to take every opportunity, don’t have any regrets regarding academics and fun activities you might have missed. Make the best out of the year,” she said.

Dippenaar will be going to Stellenbosch University to study towards a degree in BSC Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. – 

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. –

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