Social grant beneficiaries show great improvement in matric results

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Social grant beneficiaries who sat for their final exams have shown great improvement. Photo: Jaco Marais
Social grant beneficiaries who sat for their final exams have shown great improvement. Photo: Jaco Marais


Social grant beneficiaries who wrote their matric exams had shown an impressive increase in performance between 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 in all provinces.

This is according to Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who said the overall increase was 8.7% from 0.2% in the 2020/2021 calendar year.

The matric class of 2022 achieved an overall pass rate of 80.1%, an improvement of 3.7% compared with last year’s 76.4%.

This academic performance highlights the critical role that social protection and pro-poor interventions play in addressing intergenerational poverty and child wellbeing. When comparing pupils who were still receiving their grant in their matric year, and those who had stopped due to their age, active social grant beneficiaries were found to have a substantially higher pass rate as compared to inactive beneficiaries with an overall pass rate of 87.20% and 75.22%, respectively.

Zulu said the findings may show that the impact of social grants was likely to be greater the longer the transfer duration, especially if child-specific grants were kept active until the pupil completed their Grade 12 education.

She added the ranking of the beneficiaries’ performance by provinces saw Gauteng as the best-performing province at 81.59%, followed by the Free State at 76.19%, KwaZulu-Natal at 75.73%, North West at 74.19% and Northern Cape at 71.23%. She said the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape all achieved 68%, while Limpopo performed below the 60% threshold at 59.65%.

READ: ‘Matric results are not a fluke,’ says MEC

“Last year, we also saw more women social grant beneficiary pupils sitting for their national senior certificate exams at 256 902 as compared to 191 490 men. This is a trend that has been observed in previous years.” 

She said the overall male pass rate was reportedly higher at 72.5% compared to women at 70.39%.

Zulu mentioned:

This is observed in all provinces, except in Gauteng, where 81.86% of women performed slightly better than their male counterparts who got 81.21%. These results prove that programmes that promote gender parity in performance, such as the sanitary dignity programme, are interventions which encourage the retention of girls in school, as well as their attendance and performance.

She said beneficiaries who had applied and were accepted at tertiary institutions would not be tested when applying for financial assistance with the national student financial aid scheme.

“For those whose results were not as good as expected, do not give up, as many opportunities are still available. Information, advice and guidance on what to do next are available, and I would urge the pupils to use these opportunities fully to improve their results,” she said.

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