THE case against the publication of South Africa’s matric marks is expected to be heard in court this week after the Department of Basic Education announced the marks will not be made publically available due to regulatory concerns.
The urgent application will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 18 January before the matric results are made available on 20 January 2022.
The department has said that it will not oppose the urgent application and will abide by the decision of the court.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Basic Education said that matric exam results will no longer be published on media platforms, in line with the recently introduced Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).
The department said that publishing personal information online would be a contravention of the Act. It confirmed that matric results are still scheduled to release on 21 January 2022 and that results would still be available from schools. Historically, the matric results have been made widely available with students identified through their ID numbers or exam numbers.
“In order to comply with the provisions of the POPIA, the usual practice of publishing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results on public platforms (media platforms) will not occur for 2021,” it said.
“As was also the practice in previous years, all learners will be required to obtain their statement of results from the schools they attended. In this way, every learner’s personal information with regards to the outcome of their National Senior Certificate exam will be protected.”
Civil society group AfriForum, Maroela Media and Anlé Spies (a 2021 matriculant) served court papers on Friday to oppose the Department of Basic Education’s sudden decision not to publish the 2021 matric results in the media on an urgent basis in court.
Spies, who sat her exams in Pretoria but lives in Gqeberha, is arguing that it is critically important that she receive her results as quickly as possible so that she can prepare for the start of her university career. She argues that there are several learners who moved or relocated to addresses far away from the schools where they sat their matric exams.
The department has communicated its position to stakeholders it has engaged including SANEF and other parties.
“Meanwhile the Department urges candidates to register on the DBE website to view their results when they become available. Candidates will have to go through a two-step verification process before receiving confirmation of their registration. A 13-digit ID number and the examination number will be required for registration,” the department said.
The DBE website is zero-rated, which means learners can access it whether they have data or not.
The department said that more than 10 000 people had successfully registered by noon on Sunday.
Matric results are expected to be released on 21 January.
- Inside Education