60% of 2023 Matric Graduates Were SASSA Grant Beneficiaries. In the recently released 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results, an impressive 60% of matriculates were beneficiaries of the Social Assistance Program administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
Minister Lindiwe Zulu Commends Social Grant Beneficiaries’ Academic Success
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has lauded the accomplishments of Grade 12 learners who, despite facing socio-economic challenges, successfully completed their matric exams in 2023. The minister emphasized the positive outcomes achieved by those benefiting from social development services.
Key Statistics: SASSA Grant Beneficiaries Shine in Matric Exams
Out of the 897,775 Grade 12 learners who participated in the 2023 NSC exams, an overwhelming 543,786 were beneficiaries of social grants. Remarkably, 62 of them secured top positions among the country’s high-performing learners.
Academic Achievements: A Testament to the Impact of Social Grants
Social grant beneficiaries displayed a notable 82.9% overall pass rate, with 202,156 achieving a Bachelor’s pass, enabling them to pursue higher education at universities. Additionally, 160,326 learners earned distinctions, showcasing the positive impact of social assistance on academic success.
Child Support Grants and Education
Child Support Grants, aimed at meeting the basic needs of children in financially challenged circumstances, played a crucial role in supporting learners writing NSC exams. KwaZulu-Natal emerged as the leading province in grant distribution.
Addressing Children in Conflict with the Law
The constitution obligates the state to provide care and educational opportunities for children in conflict with the law. In 2023, 1,630 such children registered for the NSC exams, aligning with international standards set by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Data Integration for Improved Outcomes
The Social Development sector’s integration of administrative data systems has enhanced coordination and tracking of health and education outcomes. Minister Zulu emphasized the collaborative efforts between departments, promoting information sharing and fostering improved academic performance.
Education as a Catalyst for Change
Minister Zulu highlighted education as a powerful tool to break the cycle of poverty, citing successful collaboration between Social Development and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The exemption of grant beneficiaries from means testing when applying for NSFAS bursaries has opened up higher education opportunities.
Government Pro-Poor Policies and Poverty Reduction
Zulu acknowledged the government’s pro-poor policies, including social assistance programs and educational initiatives, for significantly reducing poverty over the past 30 years. Education remains a cornerstone in shaping better futures for social grant beneficiaries.