Education minister Angie Motshekga addresses the IEB top achievers during the matric result announcement breakfast in Midrand. Picture: CEBISILE MBONANI
Education minister Angie Motshekga addresses the IEB top achievers during the matric result announcement breakfast in Midrand. Picture: CEBISILE MBONANI

With excitement bubbling ahead of the official announcement of their final-year exam results‚ on Thursday, basic education minister Angie Motshekga highlighted the challenges some matriculants at government schools have to overcome.

Hosting a breakfast in Midrand to honour state schools’ top performers ahead of the release of overall exam results later today‚ she said the students who had performed well did so because of their dedication‚ hard work and commitment to studying.

“No one said‚ ‘I prayed‚ I fasted or went to see a seer’. They were all focused and worked hard‚” said the minister.

The pupils who attended the breakfast with their parents only knew they were there because they had passed matric with flying colours‚ but were unsure in which subjects they had excelled. They will officially know their individual results on Friday when the provincial results are released.

Motshekga said an orphan who performed well in 2017 had spoken of how people in his community never saw him on the streets as he was always studying. She said another top-performing student did not have electricity at his home: “They used to go to a police station to study under the mast light.” 

Rowan Crafford from Prinshof School for the partially sighted and blind, in Pretoria, said being called on Wednesday to attend the breakfast came as a surprise as his day started with gardening in the morning. “It is a great honour to be here‚” he said.

One of the top-performing pupils‚ Avukile Nkayi from Nyanga High School in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape‚ expressed joy at being in Johannesburg‚ despite not knowing which subjects he had done so well in. Nkayi said he had applied to the University of Cape Town to study medicine.

On social media‚ parents and proud pupils countrywide were celebrating the end of their school careers. The results from private schools were announced overnight.

Here is a selection: