Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the country should celebrate the 2019 matric pass rate of 81.3%.
She acknowledges that there are still challenges in the system but that should not cloud the improvement in the pass rate.
The 2019 matriculants breached the 80% threshold for the first time, improving from last year's 78.2%.
During the results announcement on Tuesday, the minister stated that 788,383 full-time and part-time candidates wrote the exams.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, Motshekga says they can do better.
We are the first to acknowledge that the dropout rate and repetition rates are very disturbing because they are wasteful.— Angie Motshekga, Basic Education Minister
They lead to bigger problems where our young people are unskilled. We are unhappy that we have more than 3-million young people who are not in education, training or employment.— Angie Motshekga, Basic Education Minister
She adds that the architecture of the country's system is still a colonial system where every child goes through the academic stream despite skills, talents snag gifts.
We are one of the few systems in the world where we have one stream which is the academic stream.— Angie Motshekga, Basic Education Minister
Listen to the full interview below...