ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the matric class of 2019 for exceeding expectations to move beyond an 80% national pass rate. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday announced that 81 .3% of matrics who sat for their exams achieved a pass.

Ramaphosa kicked off the African National Congress (ANC) January 8th celebrations at Kimberley in the Northern Cape.

“And we are immensely proud and pleased with the matric results that were announced by Minister Motshekga yesterday (Tuesday). South Africa today has actually touched the holy grail, for the first time our results have gone beyond 80% and we say thank you to the young people of our country.”

The Congress of the People (COPE) also shares the same sentiment. The party says the 81.3% matric pass rate achieved by the class of 2019 is impressive. It is the first time in democratic South Africa that matrics have reached this pass rate.

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem has congratulated the class of 2019.

“We are saying that this is a great achievement with this 81%. Now on this pass rate, we are very much excited and very much grateful for the hard work that everybody put in into this remarkable achievement.”

Meanwhile, Parliament has encouraged learners who failed the 2019 matric exams to try again this year.  Chairperson of the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education Bongiwe Mbingo-Gigaba says the more than 81 % pass rate shows the effort the 2019 matric students put into their studies.

Mbingo- Gigaba says those who failed should not see it as the end of the road. “We think that our kids have done well and they have increased the pass rate because from 76% to 81%, it is a 5 percentage point increase and we think that they have worked hard. It took 12 years and more probably to others of hard work, and we want to congratulate them, all of them. We even congratulate the ones that did not make it. We are of the view that fail is the first attempt in learning, so they must not give up, rather they must go and repeat their grade 12 so they can get their national senior certificates.”

The Democratic Alliance has, however, expressed concern about the overall health of the basic education system, saying many of those who enrolled in 2008 failed to make it to matric.