Matric exam marking: today marks the start of the 18-day process


45 000 markers stationed at over 181 centres across the country start the marking process today. 14 million exam scripts will be marked over an 18-day process.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga released an official statement on 1 January, issuing a new set of directions and protocols. The revised directives aim to provide guidelines to officials, educators and administration staff involved in the marking of the exam scripts.

It also provides guidance on other functions related to the finalisation of the results for the 2020 matriculants. The new regulations were necessary after President Cyril Ramaphosa reverted the country to Covid-19 alert level 3.

Mathanzima Mweli, director-general of the department of basic education said, “In the marking centres we have increased the number of monitors and we will visit all the centres to monitor compliance. We have made health and safety a priority for all staff in the marking centres.”

Mweli also stated that he will be visiting marking centres to ensure there’s Covid-19 compliance.

Other directives received from the department include:

  • Venues may not exceed 50% of capacity and the markers and officials must adhere to social distancing.
  • Strict screening procedures at the entrance of every marking centre. 
  • Marking personnel who display any symptoms that are listed in the Covid-19 protocol will be retained in a temporary isolation room until they have received medical advice.
  • Markers that have been tested positive must not report to a marking centre and a failure to disclose their health status will constitute as misconduct.
  • During meal and tea times, no more than 50 persons will be allowed in a particular area and meals will be provided in disposal containers to ensure that markers can partake of their meals on the school grounds or wherever they consider to be safe. 
  • Arrangements will be made for health practitioners to be on site or within easy reach of the marking centre to provide advice or deal with any emergency that may arise.

A reserve list of markers exists and will be used if the need arises.


  1. All I can say is this: For such a disrupted Covid year with absentees and a school system STILL disenfranchising children especially in townships and the Cape Flats, with 65+ in a matric class, how on earth could any pupil hope to get an acceptable pass?

    Pupils are forced to sukkel and scrape to matric, then hope to high heaven to find a bursary or anyone employing them with low grades?

    First language tuition is still a major stumbling block in the SA school system!!! A pupil speaking Afrikaans/Afrikaaps want to be in an English class and those with a tribal first language are placed in an English class but when challenged to express themselves in English, the speaking and writing in testing and exams especially for literacy and numeracy falls very low for most, as I hear from teachers on a regular basis! Many matriculants have no acceptable reading and maths levels, which makes me question what goes on at Primary level…If everything is so honky dory, why are so many matriculants walking the streets, frantically looking for any work or casual job?

    The system is still benefitting ALL schools in leafy mostly white suburbs with beautiful sportsfields, plush Assembly and Sports halls, top of the range science laboratories, school minibus transport to sport fixtures and beautiful school surroundings…whilst those on the Cape Flats still have the same problems and worse since I was educated…A shameful legacy to be proud of!

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