For the matriculants of 2019 the long wait was finally over when they gathered at schools in the Overstrand to receive their final exam results on Wednesday 8 January. While there were some disappointments, the overall reaction was one of joy and relief as the matrics celebrated their achievements with friends and family.

The 2019 matriculants from Hermanus High School who achieved A aggregates were overjoyed when they received their results last week. PHOTO: Taylum Meyer

The class of 2019 made history when Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced in Johannesburg on Tuesday night, 7 January that the national pass rate had exceeded 80% for the first time since 1994. The Free State came out tops, with an 88.4% pass rate, followed by Gauteng (87.2%) and North West (86.8%). The Western Cape placed fourth, achieving an 82.3% pass rate, a 0.8% increase from 2018.

Gauteng had the highest rate of Bachelor’s passes at 44.5%, followed by the Western Cape with 43.6% and Free State with 39.1%. The Western Cape had the highest percentage of distinction passes and also achieved a trifecta in terms of the top three candidates in the country overall, and the top two matrics in mathematics.

Kiah Saaiman discusses her results with the principal of Hermanus High, Greg Hassenkamp. PHOTO: Hedda Mittner

Greg Hassenkamp, principal of Hermanus High School, said on Wednesday that he was “extremely proud” of the school’s results. The school achieved a 99.4% pass rate but even more important than the overall pass rate, was the quality of the passes, said Hassenkamp. “Our Bachelor pass rate has gone up for the third year in a row, and this time with a giant leap – from 81.5% in 2018 to 85% in 2019. I am ecstatic about these results.”

Of the 174 Hermies who wrote matric, all but one passed and 15 matrics achieved A aggregates. The top three performers are Yadine de Kock with an aggregate of 91.7%, Denise Gerrits with 91.3% and Daeun Kim (87.8%).

Gansbaai Academia achieved an 89.4% pass rate (on a par with last year’s 89%) and 40.7% Bachelor pass rate. The top three performers were Izaan Newman (70.85%), Christiaan Groenewald (70.1%), and Nkosithandile Solonga and Baxolele Nomandla, who jointly came third with 65.8% each.

Sepsi Pike, a Xhosa teacher from Qhayiya Secondary, was very pleased with her former pupil, Zithembe Doda’s results. PHOTO: Hedda Mittner

Both Hawston Secondary and Qhayiya Secondary saw a dramatic improvement in their results. Qhayiya principal, Nkosilungile Lolwana, said he was impressed with both the pass rate (84.7% compared to 73% the previous year) and the quality of the passes. Of the 117 matrics who passed the exam, 57 achieved Bachelor passes. The school’s top matric was Sitembiso Sithole, who attained distinctions in four subjects.

Hawston Secondary’s results were no less surprising, with the school attaining an 80% pass rate, up by 15% from 2018’s disappointing 65%. A total of 27 matrics received Bachelor passes and the top three learners were Edwin Fortuin (72%), Tamia van Niekerk (71.7%) and Kaede Gardiner (68.3%).

Northcliff House College attained a 100% pass rate for the second year in a row, and an 85% Bachelor pass rate. The three top learners are Tanisha Marais (76%), Thozamile Dondolo (74.3%) and Gabriel Ellis (74%).

Curro Hermanus High School principal, Pierre van der Westhuizen (left) and High School Academic Head, Philna Basson (right) with three of the school’s top five students: Robyn Helmbold (first in the grade with eight distinctions), Gabriella Fourie (second in the grade with six distinctions) and Milia Botha (fifth in the grade with five distinctions). PHOTO: Taylum Meyer

Matriculants at private schools obtained a 98.82% national pass rate in the 2019 final exams, with 89.51% achieving Bachelor passes. In the Western Cape, there were 1 207 matrics from 20 schools who sat for the exams.

Curro Hermanus achieved a 100% pass rate, with 95% of their 2019 matrics receiving Bachelor passes. This was the fifth matric class to graduate from Curro Hermanus and also the smallest at only 19 students, all of whom had started at Curro in Grade 8. The class average was 70.2% and five learners received A aggregates.

Qhayiya matrics Chuma Stuurman, Thando Mapolisa, Alive Gxowa, Sitembiso Sithole (Qhayiya’s top achiever who is hoping to study law this year) and Yongama Mnqumeni all attained Bachelor passes. PHOTO: Hedda Mittner

The school’s top student, Robyn Helmbold achieved 8 distinctions and was among the top 5% of achievers in the national IEB results. She is also in the top 1% for Geography, while Nikita Roxburgh, who achieved 5 distinctions, was in the top 1% for visual art.

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