The Department of Basic Education has amended the matric exam timetable to accommodate the local government elections.
The final National Senior Certificate examinations are due to start on the 27 October – rather than November 1 as initially scheduled.
Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, says the amendments will allow for learners – who are eligible to vote – to cast their ballots.
“The change is coming. The Council of Education Ministers had a meeting this [Wednesday] morning and made amendments to the final Grade 12 examinations timetable. Originally, the elections were meant to take place on 27 October which would not have been a problem for us.”
“But then they [government] said that the elections would happen on 1 November. So the papers that were supposed to be written on the 1st and 2nd of November would be written on the 27th and 28th of October,” adds Mhlanga.
— Dep. Basic Education (@DBE_SA) September 15, 2021
Earlier, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in parliament called for Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga to relook the 2021 matric examination timetable to accommodate the upcoming Local Government Elections on the first of November.
The party says because the voting day coincides with the start of the writing of the exams, it will deprive all the eligible learners their rights to vote.
Party Spokesperson on Education Baxolile Nodada says in the past, election days were often declared as public holidays.
“The first concern is that some matrics who are eligible to vote may be unable to do so due to writing exams. Secondly, if the start of the exams is not postponed, the IEC which often uses schools as voting stations will face challenges in this regard. And lastly, given that the election day is declared as a public holiday-this creates further difficulties around teachers, around invigilators exercising their democratic rights to vote.”