Waking up at 4am to walk 16km to school (and then 16km home in the afternoon) has paid off for Zinhle Jiane, who achieved a bachelor’s matric pass.
The 18-year-old Jiane, who lives with her 78-year-old grandmother in Waaikraal on the outskirts of Delmas, Mpumalanga, was one of the 71 582 Grade 12 pupils who sat for their matric exams in the province. It achieved a 76.8% matric pass rate, recording the third-lowest pass rate in the country, but it was still a 2.9% improvement from last year.
Jiane’s school, Mafa Max Motloung Secondary School, had a 97% pass rate.
Waaikraal has no high school of its own, so pupils travel long distances to access education, which some grew tired of doing.
Transport is also an issue, and when Jiane spoke to City Press in November, she said there was little to no service delivery in their area.
She reported that there were no proper roads and no electricity, and said that they sometimes fetched water from the river and that she studied by candlelight.
After City Press published her story, a number of people reached out to help:
The indomitable Jiane wants to study environmental science.