Meet the young females leading SA’s matriculants

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As the country celebrates a historic increase in the 2019 DBE matric pass rate to 81.3%, the celebrations have extended to recognising the young woman who performed in leaps and bounds above expectations.  Females have dominated the 2019 top achievers in the various quintiles.

Quintiles is a systematic approach used for categorising schools according to a poverty index. A quintile of 1 would indicate “poverty”, and a quintile of 5 would indicate “affluence”. It must be noted that the quintiles are not equal in size. In particular, quintiles 4 and 5 contain considerably fewer schools than quintiles 1, 2 and 3 which are roughly similar in size. Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools are not allowed to charge fees and are often referred to as no-fee schools.

Provinces such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and Western Cape have seen females take up the top spots in the various quintiles.

Top matric learner overall for the DBE class of 2019 is Madelein Dippenaar from Paarl Gymnasium High School. She plans to study a BSC in Molecular Biology at Stellenbosch University.



Mpumalanga’s achiever from quintile 4, Greta Kurpershoek from Hoerskool Middelburg admits the journey to leading the pack has not been easy. Speaking to SABC News the 18-year old cites that her achievement would not have been possible if it wasn’t for her hard work and determination.

As she puts behind a successful 2019 and looks to strive ahead, Kurpershoek says she plans to further her studies by doing Actuarial Science at the University of Pretoria


Not only was the domination by females in the various quintiles but it extends to other categories such as South African Sign Language (SASL). All three top spots in the category are held by females from KwaZulu-Natal as well as Gauteng. Another top spot in the special award was presented to Sibabalwe Mkunqwana from Vukuhambe Special School in eMdantsane, Eastern Cape.

Mkunqwana’s mother, Mirriam says she worked hard and showed enthusiasm for her school work.

Tlotlo Lekgoba of Baitiredi Technical and Commercial High School in the Northern Cape leads the learners in quintile 3. Coming from the Mothibistad in Kuruman, Lekgoba attends a no-fee school.  She says her plan for the upcoming year is to study Actuarial Science.

She says her journey to the top spot is as a result of her making a lot of sacrifices on her part. Lekgoba wants to help people from poor communities with affordable financial services.

Most of the top achievers attribute their successes to hard work from day one of their matric year. Lomso Dumezweni of Nyanga Senior Secondary School in eNgcobo is the top matric learner from the Eastern Cape. He comes from eDutywa.

Dumezweni says he took his classwork seriously and it has helped him achieve academic excellence.

“Being a top achiever takes hard work,  but working hard is very broad because there are lots of ways of working hard. There are people that work hard but the results are not showing. So when you are working hard you have to work hard effectively. You have to take everything seriously from classwork to homework. ”

Additional Reporting Dinilohlanga Mekuto