Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the results of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations at a media briefing in Johannesburg.
The minister’s announcement comes after the release of the Independent Examinations Board results earlier today.
Motshekga said the matric class of 2018 achieved an overall pass rate of 78.2%.
She announced the figure during a live broadcast of the results.
The pass rate is an improvement on the year before; the class of 2017 achieved a 75.1% pass rate, itself an improvement from the 72.5% pass rate in 2016.
In total, just under 800 000 candidates wrote the 2018 exams. This figure is made up of over 625 000 full-time and over 176 000 part-time candidates. It was the fourth largest cohort of matrics to register for final exams.
Motshekga commented that this was the eighth straight year that the matric pass rate had passed the 70% mark.
Provincially, it was Gauteng that came out as top performer, with a 87.9%.
The Free State followed at 87.5%. Western Cape (81.5%) and North West (81.1%) were the only four provinces to get above 80%.
Mpumalanga achieved a pass rate of 79% followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 76.2%, the Northern Cape 73.3% and the Eastern Cape at 70.6%
At the bottom end, Limpopo was the only province to get below the 70% threshold, achieving 69.4% – but this was an improvement of 3.8% from the year before.