Address by Honourable Premier R.M. Mtshweni-Tsipane on the occasion of the code of conduct signing ceremony for the 2021 matric class

22 October 2021

Programme Director;
The Member of the Executive Council responsible for Education, Mr. Bonakele Majuba;
The Executive Mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality, Cllr Muzi Chirwa;
The Executive Mayorof Dipaleseng Local Municipality, Cllr Mafunda Makhubu;
Officials from the Department of Education, led by the Head of Department, Ms. Lucy Moyane;
Our special guests, the matric class of 2021;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Good morning;
  1. Programme Director, it is a unique honour and privilege for me to join the matric class of 2021 as they affirm their commitment to honouring the integrity of our National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations through the signing of the examination pledge.

  2. This pledge is a culmination of the 12 year journey our matriculants, their parents and guardians and our educators have undertaken in our basic education system.

  3. By signing this pledge, around 79 857 national senior certificate candidates will join generations of matriculants that have been moulded by the Mpumalanga Department of Education under the capable and astute leadership of MEC Bonakele Majuba and HOD Lucy Moyane.

  4. As they sign the pledge, the class of 2021 bind themselves to be part of a corruption-free examination period.

  5. By signing this pledge, all candidates commit themselves to not commit any examination related misdemeanors including, but not limited to;
    • Bringing unauthorised material into examination facilities
    • Bringing electronic devices such as cell-phones into examination facilities; and
    • Unlawfully obtaining and disseminating examination related material such as question papers, and marking memoranda;
    • Unduly influencing invigilators to not be impartial in the execution of their roles and responsibilities;
    • If any of the candidates in our facilities are found to be guilty of any misdemeanour, we will effect appropriate consequence management measures including disbarment from writing the examination for a minimum of one, and a maximum of three subsequent examinations;
    • The harsh consequences are intended to serve as a deterrent for our candidates whilst promoting an irregularity free examination of unquestionable integrity.
  6. Programme Director, as you are aware, this cohort of candidates are the second group of candidates that will write their examinations under exceptionally challenging circumstances attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  7. Despite numerous teething problems as we learnt to live with the virus, I am delighted to announce that all of the 560 examination centres across the Province are fully compliant with Covid-19 regulations.

  8. Furthermore all our facilities are equipped with isolation rooms to allow those who are flagged during the screening process to be able to continue to write their examinations.

  9. We urge our students, invigilators and support staff to continue to exercise caution and ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations such as mask wearing, washing or sanitising of hands as well as exercising social distancing.

  10. Programme Director, our matriculants will start to write their examination during the highly charged campaigning period in the build up to the Local Government Elections that will be held on 01 November 2021.

  11. During this period, we anticipate a number of service delivery related protests in communities across the Province.

  12. Whilst our law enforcement will continue to monitor developments and deal with instigators decisively, we call upon our communities and School Governing Bodies to be our eyes and ears and to report any possible threat that might adversely affect the examination period.

  13. In essence, ladies and gentlemen, the Mpumalanga Province is ready to successfully oversee the 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations.

  14. Programme Director, I wish to utilise this opportunity and express my gratitude to the thousands of teachers across the Province who constitute our basic education ecosystem. Without you, there would be no examinations. We thank you for moulding and developing young minds so that they develop to become responsible members of our society.

  15. To the matric class of 2021, the next couple of weeks will be emotionally taxing. Be reminded that the last 12 years of your life has brought you to where you are. Study hard, study smart and do not allow societal distractions to steer you off path. Go out there, do you best and build a firm foundation for the next phase of your academic life.

  16. I wish you all the best of luck.

  17. I thank you.

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