‘Education is a ladder out of poverty’ – Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa: Picture: The Presidency

Ramaphosa said government made the call for businesses to invest in the nation’s future by employing more young people.

As the class of 2023 celebrate their matric results, President Cyril Ramaphosa has stressed that education is a “ladder out of poverty,” calling on businesses to invest in the nation’s future by employing more young people.

Ramaphosa made the remarks in his weekly newsletter, “From the Desk of the President.”

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) last week revealed the class of 2023 recorded an 82.9% pass rate.


After many sleepless nights, weekend classes and a challenging year, the 2023 cohort of students defied the odds and made history in the country’s basic education system.

Ramaphosa said the accomplishments of the 2023 matrics should encourage the class of 2024 to set their sights even higher.

“This year marks 30 years since South Africa became a democracy with equal rights, dignity and freedoms for all. The achievements of last year’s matriculants show the progress we have made not only in making education more accessible, but also in making it more equal.

“Education is about so much more than personal betterment or obtaining a qualification to seek gainful employment. It’s a ladder out of poverty,” Ramaphosa said.

Helping the youth

Ramaphosa added that government continues to invest “heavily” in improving school infrastructure.

He said while the country is proud of the matrics, it is particularly proud of the young people who have succeeded in the “face of great hardship and adversity.”

“As government, we have made the call for businesses to invest in our nation’s future by employing more young people, and, where possible, to do away with the requirement of prior work experience.

“I encourage companies to use the Employee Tax Incentive to hire more young job-seekers, to make more training and mentorship opportunities available, and to sign up with the Youth Employment Service and other initiatives being rolled out in partnership with government,” Ramaphosa added.

Ramaphosa said the for the many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who passed matric this year, being given an opportunity to work or to study further is a way out of poverty.

“Let us give them hope. Let us give them a chance,” Ramaphosa said.

The Citizen/ Faizel Patel