Polokwane - Limpopo has seen a 3.1 percentage point increase in its matric pass rate for 2017, achieving a 65.6% pass rate.Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha said that the increase showed that the province was slowly recovering from its financial woes.Mathabatha was addressing the media in Polokwane after the results were released. Although he acknowledged that the pass rate was less than what was expected, he commended efforts by Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe and his team.He blamed a lack of financial crisis management for the department's inability to achieve an 80% pass rate.According to Mathabatha, a lack of resources has affected the department since 2011. That year the department was one of five placed under administration due to poor financial management. The move affected spending on key education programmes, which were suspended and caused beneficiaries to suffer.Mathabatha added that, although the pass rate increase was not a desired one, it was still worthy of celebration."We are getting the department right, we are still not yet there, but we are doing something...This was the department that had results [that were] declining. We are now increasing the performance of the results," said MathabathaThe official Bachelor's Degree pass rate also increased from 18% in 2016 to 21%.The Democratic Alliance said it was worried that, of the 127 555 full and part-time enrolled students, 44 328 did not write the exams."We request the MEC Kgetjepe to provide clarity as to why almost 35% of enrolled students did not write the exams, as this not only artificially increased the pass rate but, more importantly, students were denied an opportunity to test their knowledge and gain access to further education," MP Jack Smalle said.Only five schools had more than 100 candidates that achieved a mathematics pass rate of 50% or more, and four had more than 100 candidates that achieved 50% or more in physical science and mathematics.However, the party congratulated the Vhembe District for achieving a 76.6% overall pass rate."Despite the department's efforts to inflate the pass rate, Limpopo province still remains one of only two provinces with a pass rate lower than 70%," Smalle added.