South Africa


‘The long wait is excruciating’: Anxious times over delayed matric results

‘The long wait is excruciating’: Anxious times over delayed matric results
Former matric learners from Elswood Secondary School in Cape Town receive their matric results on 23 February 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

While the matrics of 2021 anxiously await the release of their results, the Department of Education says it is running according to schedule.

For two years in a row, matric results have been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which compromised and disrupted teaching, learning, the school timetable and the release of the results. In 2021 the matric results for the class of 2020 were released almost two months into the new year, on 23 February 2021

This year the release of the matric results has been delayed until 21 January 2022.  

Elijah Mhlanga, the Department of Basic Education spokesperson, said: “The delay in the matric results release date was affected by the local government elections, but also there is a lot of work that needs to be done before the results are released, and each step is critical before the next.

“It must also be remembered that the Covid-19 pandemic is still around; as such it is unfair and unwise to expect things to be normal. The date for the release of matric results is not late, but rather according to their schedule… even before Covid-19, the issue of anxiety was there.” 

The delay has led to anxiety for many learners.

matric results delay

Markers of matric examination scripts on 12 January 2021 in Durban. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Siyanda Mzilikazi, a former learner from Kroonstad High School in Free State, said: “The long wait is extremely excruciating… one is also thinking about the new change that’s coming along and all the people who actually are looking up to us and constantly reminding us of the late date, which is very agitating.” 

Siyavuya Manama, who wrote matric exams in Ekurhuleni, said: “At this point, I am numb, I can’t do anything other than wait for the unknown.”  

Anathi Zono, who studied at Nombulelo Senior Secondary School in Makhanda, told Daily Maverick her plans for the year are dependent on the results. 

“The more days I spend waiting for my results the more I worry my plans to access an institution of higher learning are jeopardised. Some of the institutions and bursaries have opened for intakes and before we know it they will be closed or full,” she said.  

Precious Ntuli, a former learner at Johannesburg Polytech Institute, said: “I still haven’t gotten a response from most of the institutions and bursaries I applied for and there’s also orientation… which is soon after the release date for first-years and many of us won’t experience that due to delay in our results.” 

Melokuhle Dube, from Durban, said her biggest worry is that National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) applications close on the day of the release of the results. 

“Most learners can’t afford the school fees at higher learning institutions and depend on NSFAS. Given that the closing day is on the same day as the release of results, there is a possibility some deserving learners will be left out.” 

However, institutions of higher learning are aware of the delay and have adjusted their programmes accordingly. 

matric results delay

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala monitors the progress of the National Senior Certificate examinations at Umlazi Commercial High School in Durban on 11 November 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Buhle Zuma, senior communications officer at Wits University, told Daily Maverick that the university’s academic calendar finalised in 2021 took into consideration the changes in the education sector caused by Covid-19.  

“Wits’s academic calendar and registration plan is aligned to the changes. We will make firm offers to matriculants shortly after the official release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results, on 21 January 2022 for both NSC and the Independent Examinations Board (IEB). Successful applicants will receive communication from the university and will be required to accept the offer within three days of the email or messages to secure the place. Online registration commences on 21 January 2022 to 27 January 2022.” 

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has also made arrangements to make sure the release date of the results will not have an impact on the operations of the institution. 

“UJ has planned its academic activities for 2022 in accordance with different scenarios and the university is ready to implement any one of the scenarios, depending on the Covid-19 situation,” said Herman Esterhuizen, media relations coordinator at UJ. DM

[hearken id=”daily-maverick/8976″]


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz