South Africa


Free State: ‘We’re simply the best’ — jubilant MEC of Education Tate Makgoe on 85.7% pass rate

Free State has once again been crowned the country's number one for Matric pass rates. MEC of education in the Free State Tate Magoe awarded the top 100 learners in the province on Friday, with top honours going to Chane Nel (18) from Meisieskool Oranje, Bloemfontein, followed by Tlotliso Mofokeng from Mookodi secondary school in Qwaqwa and Tsebo Molatoli. (Picture: Supplied)

2021 marks three consecutive years that the ‘laden with poverty’ Free State takes number one spot for matric results. 

“This is the third year in a row that we’ve come out as number one, we’ve also never gotten below 80% for our matric pass rates since 2012,” said a delighted Tate Makgoe, the Free State’s MEC of education at the 2021 matric results briefing in Bloemfontein.  

This year the province recorded the highest matric pass rate in the country of 85.7%. This is a slight increase from last year’s pass rate of 85.1%. 

“We were number one in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. We’re simply the best, that’s all I can say,” said Makgoe. 

“The province is also the only province that has four districts in the top ten in the country, even though our target was to have all five districts in the top ten,” said Makgoe. 

Four of the top 100 learners in the province. L-R Thapeli Lehohonolo from Mampoi, Wouter van Aswegen from Grey College, Mofokeng Tsietsi from Sekgutlong and Shannon Lee Rietkerk from Sasolburg High School. Photo: SUPPLIED

In terms of the districts with the highest pass rates, two of the Free State’s districts made it to the top three. Makgoe said that the number one spot went to Tshwane in Gauteng, followed by Motheo which had a pass rate of 87.9% in 2021 compared to 85.4% in 2020 and Fezile Dabi with a pass rate of 87.5% in 2021 compared to 86.5% in 2020. 


“All of our districts performed above 82%, we’re the only province that’s done that,” said Makgoe. 

In total, 35,055 candidates wrote the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams in 2021, with 76.4% passing with a bachelor’s pass, said Makgoe. 

In 2021, 13,971 candidates passed with a bachelor’s pass, this is an increase from the previous year where 11,462 candidates passed with a bachelor’s pass. 

In 2021, 10,836 candidates passed with a diploma compared to 8,828 in 2020. There was also an increase in those who passed with higher certificates, from 3,785 in 2020 to 5,188 in 2021. 

46 schools obtained a 100% pass rate — a decrease by one school — 11 of which are township schools, said Makgoe. “We were able to achieve this even though this is a province laden with poverty,” said Makgoe. 

Makgoe also applauded a few of the top 100 candidates in the province, among them were: 

  • Jana Briel who got 99% for Accounting, Physical Science, Maths;
  • Tlotliso Mofokeng who got 100% for Maths and Physical Science
  • Sipho Mthembu who got 100% for Physical Science and 97% for Maths and;
  • Redi Mofokeng who got 100% for Physical Science and 99% for Maths.

The province achieved 5,901 distinctions. 

“The class of 2021 are ambassadors of public schooling. At least 87% of the schools in this province are no-fee paying schools and yet you can see their performance. They are proof that there is nothing wrong with public schools and our teachers,” said Makgoe. DM


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