Address by Honourable Premier R.M. Mtshweni-Tsipane on the occasion of the announcement of the 2023 National Senior Certificate examination results

19 January 2024

Programme Director;
Members of the Executive Council present;
Executive Mayors in our midst;
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr. Gillion Mashego;
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga, Professor Mayekiso;
The Senior Management of the Mpumalanga Provincial Government, led by the Director General, Mr. Makhukhu Mampuru;
Officials from the Department of Education, led by the Head of Department, Ms. Lucy Moyane;
Leaders of Education Sector Unions;
Representative of the South African Council for Educators;
Leaders of the Tripartite Alliance;
Leadership of the Progressive Youth Alliance;
Our special guests, the top achievers from the Matric class of 2023;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Good morning;
  1. Programme Director, it is a unique honour and privilege to join you all today as we gather to announce the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results.

  2. We gather 3 days after all schools in the Province commenced the 2024 academic year.

  3. I was pleased to note the successful and incident free manner we commenced the academic year.

  4. I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation to our teachers, parents, school management teams, teacher unions and members of school governing bodies for creating an enabling environment for teaching and learning to thrive in the Province.

  5. Programme Director, as I’ve indicated, we are here to announce the results of the national senior examination results for the 2023 academic year.

  6. We announce these outcomes fully cognisant of the commitment undertaken by the ANC led government to provide decolonised education and training of the highest quality in order to equip our children to make a meaningful contribution to their communities and ultimately, to the Province in accordance with the National Development Plan 2030.

  7. Programme Director, the class of 2023 will be defined by their unwavering resilience and commitment to excellence.

  8. I had the pleasure of visiting Sibusisiwe secondary school before the commencement of the national senior certificate examinations in October last year and I was impressed by the unity in purpose displayed by the teachers, the SGB and the SRC.

  9. Little did I know that the resilience displayed at Sibusisiwe was common across the Province.

  10. I am happy that our children, teachers and parents understood and subscribed fully to the words of the father of our rainbow nation, uTata nelson Mandela when he said “education is the biggest catalyst and weapon in our efforts to eliminate poverty, unemployment and inequality”.

  11. Today, we bear witness to the fruits of our children’s resilience and hard work.


  13. Programme Director, The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga officially announced the 2023 National Senior Certificate Examination Results, last night.

  14. She articulated the challenges our learners had to endure and overcome.

  15. A total of 67 902 candidates registered for the national senior certificate examinations. As the MEC has also enunciated, around 65 534 students wrote all their registered subjects.

  16. She further announced that the Mpumalanga Class of 2023 recorded a 76,95% overall pass rate.

  17. It is encouraging to note that since 2012, the Province has not reported an overall pass rate below 70%.

  18. Programme Director, we recorded a total of 21 819 bachelor passes , which is up from 21 044 we recorded last year.

  19. A total of 17 412 students have qualified to register for diplomas at institutions of higher learning.

  20. Programme Director, with your indulgence, may I request the audience to give the 2021 class a round of applause.


  22. Programme Director, Ehlanzeni District recorded the highest pass rate in the Province with an impressive 81.8%. This is up from 76.2% recorded last year.

  23. Gert Sibande District recorded a 79.8% pass rate which is an improvement on the 77.7% pass rate recorded last year.

  24. The Nkangala district obtained a 76.4% pass rate, which is an increase from the 74.5%.

  25. We are concerned about the performance of Bohlabela district which has recorded a significant drop from the 79.3% recorded last year to 69.1% pass rate recorded this year.

  26. We have started conducting a root cause analysis behind this significant drop in Bohlabela. We will leave no stone unturned to remedy this situation.


  28. Programme Director, once again, it is a great pleasure to announce that learners within the confines of the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality recorded a pass rate that surpassed all the 17 local municipalities within the Province.

  29. They recorded an 89.5 % pass rate which is up from the 82,2% pass rate they recorded last year. I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the community of Steve Tshwete under the leadership of the Executive Mayor, Cllr Mhlonishwa Masilela.


  31. Programme Director, the class of 2023 is about to enter a period of their lives that will determine their destiny.

  32. I wish to reiterate the words of His Excellency, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa who stated in the commemoration of youth day in 2022 that; “The struggles of young people in South Africa today are many. Young people have remained at the forefront of activism, whether in pursuit education or against societal ills such as unemployment”.

  33. We have also internalized the rallying call of the youth – “that there can be nothing about them without them.”

  34. The Mpumalanga Provincial Government that I have the pleasure of leading is unwavering in its support for the overall development of young people.

  35. I want to urge the class of 2023 to apply for the Premier’s discretionary bursary. Additional information on my discretionary bursaries can be found online and across the Mpumalanga Provincial Government handles on social media including Facebook , X (formerly known as twitter) and Instagram.

  36. Those of you , who have displayed leadership potential to apply to be a part possible appointment into a Premier’s Youth Advisory Council.

  37. An invitation in this regard will be circulated widely in the form of an advertisement in mainstream newspapers and across social media for suitably qualified young men and women to be appointed to advise me on matters that affect young people.

  38. I also urge the class of 2023 and other commercially inclined young people to familiarise themselves with the Premier’s Youth Development Fund (PYDF).

  39. Since its inception 3 years ago, the Premier’s Youth Development Fund has empowered over 97 youth-owned businesses across the province, to the tune of over R200 million. These enterprises are drawn from a wide spectrum of sectors, such as mining, manufacturing, retail, ICT, transport and logistics, health and fitness, and restaurants, to mention but a few.

  40. The disbursement of funding has created numerous sustainable employment opportunities and afforded young people ample opportunities to become part of the mainstream economy.


  42. Programme Director, it was our wish for all who wrote the national senior certificate examination to pass, unfortunately we have recorded a failure rate of around 23.2% which is down from the 26,4% failure rate we recorded last year.

  43. I implore all those who have not succeeded, not to lose hope. (Akulahlwa mbeleko ngakufelwa). We will afford you a second chance.

  44. We request parents and community members to support these learners and not to subject them to undue pressure or ridicule.

  45. Let us encourage all those who could not make the grade, to take advantage of the second chance programme.

  46. We therefore make a humble appeal to all our principals to provide the required and necessary support to these learners.


  48. Programme Director, I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Grade 12 Class of 2023.

  49. Your achievements have a direct correlation with the effort you have put in. As you take steps towards adulthood, be reminded that your circumstances are a direct result of what you choose to invest your time in.

  50. Always remember that no one else, but you, is responsible for your future. Government can only create an enabling environment for you to thrive. So you have to put in the work. Feed your focus and starve your distractions.

  51. I thank you.

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