"Appalling conditions" at a matric camp in the Harry Gwala District, used for exam preparation, has prompted KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu to shut it down.
On Thursday, Mshengu instructed the district to close the camp with immediate effect.
He also requested that the district find an appropriate place for pupils and ensure that pupils do not lose academic time.
The National Senior Certificate exams are expected to begin on Thursday, 5 November.
"I have also directed the Head of Department (HOD) to give me a full report by Monday, 2 November 2020, explaining how the department found itself in such a precarious situation," Mshengu added.
"The report from the HOD must include the amount spent in securing this camp."
Mshengu also expected action to be taken against those responsible.
"As much as we want our learners to succeed and progress, we take a dim view and we are totally against accommodating our learners in such appalling conditions," Mshengu said.