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Minister said only 120,000 pupils passed South Africa’s 2020 matric exams? No, results not yet released

Did South African basic education minister Angie Motshekga say “700,000 learners wrote grade 12 exams and only 120,000 learners passed?

An article circulating on Facebook in early February 2021 claims South African basic education minister Angie Motshekga said “700,000 learners wrote grade 12 final exams and only 120,000 learners passed”.

Results of the grade 12 school-leaving exams, known as “matric”, are seen as an indicator of the quality of the country’s education system.

But did Motshekga really say this?




Exams still being marked

The story is on Opera News, a known disinformation website. It gives no details about when or where Motshekga supposedly made the statement. 

South Africa’s final 2020 matric exams were held on 15 December. The results are still being marked and tabulated, and are only set to be released on 22 February. This is later than usual, delayed by Covid-19 disruptions to the 2020 academic year.   

When the results are released, they will be widely reported in the media. 

In 2019, 504,303 students wrote final exams and 409,906 passed.

The article is false.

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