This week on Khetha #Week47


Radio Stations: SABC Radio Stations

Topic: Matric Results Release & Second Chance Opportunities
Original Script Written by: Khanyisile Cele
Programme Date: 26 – 29 November 2018
Week: 47
Target Audience: The general public


Script Notes:


  • The programme is entitled “Matric Results Release & Second chance opportunities”
  • This script will be translated to other official languages and broadcast on 10 PBS radio stations.
  • The programme is characterised by the radio presenter and a guest from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
  • The radio presenter is the main anchor of the programme and he/she will control the activities on the programme.

The objectives of this programme are to:


  • Interpret the meaning and implications of matric results in detail.
  • Explain options available for learners who did not succeed in the 2018 examinations.

The entire programme runs for 30 minutes; which includes PSAs.

Opening Billboard: ‘This programme is brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education’.


Programme Introduction

Presenter: Good evening and a warm welcome to all our listeners. It is time for another sensational episode of Khetha, brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education. Today we are talking about a very important topic especially in the educational system of our country. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations commonly referred to as “matric” has become an annual event of major public significance. It not only signifies the conclusion of twelve years of formal schooling but the NSC examinations is a barometer of the health of the education system.

As grade 12 learners were writing exams during October/ November 2018; the most anticipated date in the educational calendar right now is 4 January 2019. when the NSC results will be released. Hence today we are talking “Matric Results Release & Second Chance Opportunities”. I invite everyone to sit close and listen as we will be unpacking issues around interpreting the results and available opportunities thereafter.

Now as a listener you may be asking yourself why it is important to talk about this topic today. Yes; it is very important to talk about this matter right now before the release of the matric results. We want to create a significant awareness of the importance of the matric certificate because it is one of the most prominent gateways to career development opportunities. A matric certificate is vital in this country and very much linked to determining possible career path opportunities.

Today we are joined in the studio by our guest Mr/ Ms ******** from ******** who will be sharing information and carefully unpacking serious matters in relation to our topic this evening. Mr/ Ms ********; it’s good to have you on the show.

Guest: Good evening ********, and greetings to you and the listeners!

Presenter: Let’s start by explaining to our listeners, what is NSC?


Guest: The National Senior Certificate, NSC, in short, is awarded as the final exit qualification at the end of Grade 12. In2008, the NSC replaced the Senior Certificate as the major school-leaving qualification; this qualification takes a minimum of three years to complete. The NSC is the qualification that is offered to learners in the Further Education and Training

Band (i.e. Grades 10, 11 and 12). In order to pass the NSC, candidates study at least seven approved/recognised subjects and should provide evidence of School-Based Assessment (SBA) for each of the subjects. The subjects should include two compulsory official South African languages, Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy, Life Orientation and three elective subjects. Subjects are all taken on the same level - there is no higher or standard grade as in the past.

The NSC is awarded to learners who have achieved the exit level learning outcomes stipulated in the National policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R- 12. The NSC is awarded provided that three subjects are passed with a minimum of 40% and a pass at a minimum of 30% in another three subjects. A learner may fail one subject (and still attain the NSC), on condition that full evidence of the SBA component in the failed subject can be provided.

The qualification is offered by the Department of Basic Education (DBE- for public schools) and the Independent Examinations Board (IEB- for independent schools). The NSC is quality assured and issued by UMALUSI. The certificate also indicates achievement of the minimum Higher Education admission requirements to study for one of the following:

• Higher Certificate (H), or

• Diploma (D), or

• Bachelor’s degree (B) programme

These symbols (H, D, and B) are frequently confused with other terminologies that are commonly used in the educational system. Therefore parents, pupils and everyone affected the need to understand the requirements to pass the NSC with admission to either of these achievements: bachelor, diploma or higher certificate. 


Presenter: Wow; this is very interesting. Please tell us, what are the requirements to pass the NSC with admission to either: H, D or B?

Guest: Of course; I will start explaining from the highest to the lowest pass level. The minimum requirements for a candidate to obtain a National Senior Certificate are:

  • Achieve 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level and 30% in three subjects.
  • Provide full evidence in the SBA component in the subjects offered
  1. The National Senior Certificate with Bachelor’s Degree admission requirements:

A minimum of 50% for 4 subjects, and a minimum of 30% for the other 3 subjects (you must achieve a minimum of 40% for a Home Language and a minimum of 30% for your First Additional Language).  The minimum admission requirement is an NSC as certified by Umalusi with a rating of adequate achievement (50-59%), or better, in four subjects chosen from the designated list of recognised 20-credit NSC subjects. The Bachelor’s Pass means that you may study at universities and any institutions of higher learning in South Africa, as long as you have met the requirements for that particular degree, certificate or diploma qualification.

Bachelor Degree Pass Requirements

  • Must obtain at least 40% for your Home Language
  • Must obtain at least 50% for 4 other High Credit Subjects
  • Must obtain at least 30% for two other subjects


  1. The National Senior Certificate with Diploma admission requirements:

A minimum of 40% for 4 subjects (one of which must be a Home Language) and a minimum of 30% for the other 3 subjects is required. The minimum admission requirement is an NSC, as certified by Umalusi, with an achievement rating of 3 (moderate achievement, 40%–49%) or better in four recognised NSC 20-credit subjects and a minimum 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the Higher Education institution concerned. The Diploma Pass means that you have passed matric and can study at a university of technology; provided you meet the additional subjects or level requirements as stipulated by the institution.

Diploma Pass Requirements

  • Must obtain at least 40% for your Home Language
  • Must obtain at least 40% for 3 other High Credit Subjects
  • Must obtain at least 30% for 2 other subjects
  • You may fail one subject but proof of your SBA items (Tests, assignments etc.) must be available
  1. The National Senior Certificate with Higher Certificate admission requirements:

A minimum 40% for 3 subjects (one of which must be a Home Language), a minimum of 30% for a further 3 subjects, and fail (less than 30%) the 7th subject. The minimum requirement for a Higher Certificate achievement, as certified by Umalusi is a minimum of 30% pass in the language of learning and teaching of the Higher Education Institution (English). The Higher Certificate Pass means that you have passed matric. However, you cannot study further at a university of technology or university.


These are the minimum pass requirements for NSC to a Higher Certificate:

  • Must obtain at least 40% in your Home Language
  • Must obtain at least 40% in two other subjects
  • Must obtain at least 30% for three other subjects
  • You may fail one subject but proof of your SBA items (tests, assignments etc.) must be available

An indication of having achieved the minimum requirements as regulated is, however, not a guarantee for a secure placement in a higher education programme. Learners are encouraged to get their statements at the school as soon as the results are released because this will allow them enough time to accurately interpret their results and inquire about options available to them based on their results early.

Presenter: You mentioned that learners can also inquire about available options based on their results. Can learners apply for re-marking of their examination scripts?

Guest: Yes. Learners may apply for re-checking or re-marking of examination answer scripts immediately after receiving their results, which is why it is very crucial to collect the statements immediately after the release of results on4 January 2019.

The closing date for application for a re-check or remark is 14 days after matric results release. Application forms for re-checking or re-marking of examination answer scripts are available from schools or examination centers. There are fees required for these applications; for instance, fees for 2019 are as follows:

  • R25 for re-checking,
  • R105 for re-marking and
  • R205 for viewing of an examination script (Viewing of a script can only be done after re-checking and re-marking have been done).

Candidates from no-fee schools and learners whose parents have applied and have been granted a concession on the payment of school fees are exempted from payment of re-checking and re-marking fees.

Learners need to always keep in mind that not being able to achieve the marks/ results they have aimed for; does not necessarily mean the end of the world. There are always options to navigate and articulate from where you are to where you want to be. The journey may not seem straight and smooth as anticipated, however always keep in mind that all the experiences you come across are there to assist you as building blocks to your career development.

Presenter: Very well said. Now, what are the options available to candidates that do not meet the requirements for an NSC?

Guest: A supplementary examination may be granted to an unsuccessful National Senior Certificate candidate, provided they meet specific criteria. The requirements for supplementary exams are as follows:

  • Candidates who have not met the minimum promotion and certification requirements, but who require a maximum of two subjects to obtain the NSC.
  • Candidates who could not sit or finish the examination due to medical reasons, a death in the family, or some other special reason, provided documentary evidence is provided; and
  • Candidates, who do not satisfy the minimum higher education entry requirements or higher education faculty requirements for a specific occupation with one subject, provided documentary evidence is provided.

Candidates who qualify for a supplementary examination can register at the centers where they sat for the examination immediately after receiving their results. The closing date for application for the supplementary examination is usually early in January. If candidates meet the requirements, they should download the supplementary examination timetable at http:///www.education.gov.za or ask at the school and begin with their preparations immediately. The Department has also made available the NSC past examination question papers and study guides, and provinces normally offer support programmes where feasible.

Presenter: That is very informative*******! So what happens or what options are available to candidates that do not qualify for the supplementary exams?

Guest: Those who have not succeeded in their examinations and do not qualify for the supplementary examination must re-enroll at a school without delay, as long as they meet the age requirement (which is under 21 years of age).

The Department of Basic Education offers a second chance programme for unsuccessful candidates including those learners who will be writing the supplementary examinations. However, learners need to verify the subjects that are offered.  For more information, learners must seek information and advice from their high schools, circuit and district offices.  Information on the second chance programme will be available shortly after the matric results release.

For those who are over the age of 21 years and therefore do not qualify to re-enroll at the school can consider the following option:

  • Grade 12 learners, who failed and who are over 21, should register as part-time candidates or enroll at Public Adult Education Centres. Participation in programmes at these centers is free and is available for young people and adults who have not completed their formal schooling.
  • Candidates, who were unsuccessful in achieving the NSC, may consider registering for the Amended Senior Certificate, which is a school-leaving qualification for adults and out-of-school learners.


Presenter: Please tell us more about the Amended Senior Certificate.

Guest: A new policy for the Amended Senior Certificate for adults and out-of-school learners was published in August 2014. This policy allows adults, who are 21 years and older, who have no previous credits, to write the Senior Certificate examination, which will be based on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), the curriculum that is currently being offered in schools. The first examination based on the Amended Senior Certificate was written in June 2015.

The following categories of learners will qualify for admission to the amended Senior Certificate:

  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older, who have a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) for Adult Education and Training (AET); or a Grade 9 (Standard 7) school report, stating that they have passed Grade 9; or a recognised equivalent qualification obtained at NQF Level 1 which requires two official languages.
  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older.
  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete National Senior Certificate
  • In exceptional cases, out-of-school youth who are 18 - 21 years old and who could not complete their school education due to circumstances beyond their control, as verified by the Head of Department in their province.

Presenter: If candidates want to improve or upgrade their matric results; where do they go?

Guest: Candidates can first enquire at the school where they had written their matric examination if they can allow them to re-enroll for the subjects that they want to improve. This option is also available at most private colleges. However, candidates must ensure that the college is accredited to offer the matric rewrite programme. There are many bogus institutions that claim they offer bridging or matric upgrade and rewrite programmes meanwhile they are not accredited by Umalusi.

It is very crucial to ensure registration and accreditation status of the institution before enrolling for any programme so that the qualification you receive is valid.  No one wants to spend another year doing something only to find that it is not worth anything – what a waste of time and money and then you have to start again! The best idea would be to contact the Department of Basic Education, they should be able to provide a list of institutions whereby you can improve or upgrade your matric with more specific details and also answer your questions. Their call center number is 0800 202 933. 

Presenter: We have spoken about various qualifications and where they are offered. In a simple summary; please clarify the difference between the NSC, NCV, and AET level 4 qualifications?

Guest: Often there is confusion between these programmes, especially not knowing what the outcomes and possible progression from a particular programme thereafter.

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) Grade 12/ matric certificate is a qualification which is registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 4. An alternative route leading to a matric qualification is the Senior Certificate (SC) which is now replaced by the Amended Senior Certificate that we discussed earlier. Both the NSC and Amended Senior Certificate qualifications are registered at level 4 of the NQF. The NSC is a three-year qualification offered in schools. School learners obtain the NSC after successfully completing Grade 10, 11 and 12. The possible progression route is further studies at the institution of higher learning or other career development alternatives, such as learnership, job opportunities, etc.

The National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) is registered at levels 2 - 4 on the NQF. Each level of the NCV is an exit level, however, learners are encouraged to complete NCV level 2- 4 in order to obtain a matric equivalent qualification. NCV is offered by both Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and private colleges. A grade 9 (standard 7) report or Adult Education and Training level 4 is required for admission to NCV programme.

NCV differs from NCS in a sense that NCV programmes integrate theory and practice and provide students with a broad range of knowledge and practical skills within specific industry fields. NCV level 4 certificates is a work based qualification that one gets from a TVET college while an NSC is a qualification that you get at an academic institution. Both these qualifications are registered on NQF level 4, which means that they are equivalent to each other.

Adult Education and Training (AET) level 4is registered on NQF level 1 which means AET level 4 is comparable or equivalent to Grade 9 or the old Standard 7. In other words, having successfully completed all the AET levels (level 1-level 4), candidates will obtain the General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) which means that the qualification is on the same level as Grade 9. This qualification is offered at the Community Learning Centres which primarily target youth and adults who for various reasons did not complete their schooling or who never attended school. 

Presenter: Thank you for such an insightful explanation. Is there any support that is available for matriculants, as we know that waiting and receiving matric results can cause anxiety to some candidates?

Guest: Yes, we know that some matriculants at this time may be anxious and there have been reports previously of some not coping well with the outcomes of their results. The Department of Social Development has opened a Gender-Based Violence Command Centre for counseling support for those who need help. The centre is a 24-hour toll-free line that offers counselling support by trained social workers for victims of gender-based violence and for both parents and matriculants struggling to deal with the anxiety and tension surrounding the release of results. The Command Centre can be reached toll-free on 0800 428 428. Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialing *120*7867# from any cell phone.


Presenter: This is good news and thank you for sharing such invaluable information. I am confident that our listeners are now clear of the options that are relevant to them. Any last words in closure? 

Guest: I could not emphasise enough the importance of having a matric certificate for career development opportunities in our country. It is one of the important gate-way certificates to most opportunities out there. To the 2018 matriculants; I wish them all the best as they await the release of their results on the 4 January 2019. To everyone who is listening; let us all support our young stars; they are the future of this country. Remember; it is not too late for you to stand up and follow the options available in order to achieve and reach your career development goals. So step-up, get all the information you need in order to make informed decisions about your career!

Presenter: Thank you for the words of encouragement. How can one get in touch with you if they need further information?

Guest: The Career Development Services can be reached through:

  1. SMS with your question or send a “please call me” to 072 204 5056, or
  2. Call 086 999 0123, which is a call share line, from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm,
  3. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
  4. Visit the offices at 123 Francis Baard, Pretoria,
  5. Facebook at (search: “career advice website”) or,
  6. Twitter at

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Closing Billboard “This programme was brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training”.

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