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HX1F8917 copyThe 2015 top achiever after the Ministerial Breakfast (Image: Bakonepix)14 January 2016 – Last week the outstanding results of 23 top achievers from all over the country were celebrated at a ministerial breakfast and during the live broadcast of the 2015 Matric Results.

The top achievers received awards in various categories including mathematics, physical science, special needs education and the five quintiles. This year saw the majority of first places claimed by girls and Limpopo the province that contributed the most top achievers.

All 23 top achievers will continue their education at a university but not before they took a moment to remember the teachers that have made an impact on their school lives so far and expressed their thanks to the community of family and school that has supported them over the years.

The Department of Basic Education has collected the inspirational stories of these talented young people in a brochure called the National Senior Certificate Examination Results Ministerial Announcement 5 January 2016.

We’re pleased to publish those stories here and to add some clarification, general top achiever statistics as well as information about the awards.



IMG 20160106 044924 1The categories for the 2015 Top Achievers are:

All South African public ordinary schools are categorised into five groups, called quintiles, largely for purposes of the allocation of financial resources. Quintile 1 is the 'poorest' quintile, while Quintile 5 is the 'least poor'. These poverty rankings are determined nationally according to the poverty of the community around the school, as well as, certain infrastructural factors.

Each quintile, nationally, contains 20% of all learners, but not 20% from each province. Schools in Quintile 1, 2 and 3 have been declared no-fee schools, while schools in Quintiles 4 and 5 are fee-paying schools.

The Top LSEN Achievers have all attended special education needs schools (LSEN).


General top achiever statistics

There are 23 top achievers (first, second and third place) in total:

  • Three of the top achievers are placed in more than one category:
    • Hamandishe Mathiva from Limpopo obtained first place in both Top Physical Science Achievers and Top Mathematics and Physical Science Achievers as well as the third place in Top Achievers in Quintile 4.
    • Kukhokuhle Tsengwa from the Eastern Cape obtained second place in both Top Physical Science Achievers and Top Mathematics and Physical Science Achievers
    • Ernst Molelle from Gauteng obtained third place in both Top Physical Science Achievers and in Top Achievers in Quintile 3.
  • Of the 23, there are nine girls and 14 boys. Six of the girls obtained a first place.
  • Limpopo leads with seven top achievers followed by Western Cape (six), Eastern Cape (four), Gauteng (three), KZN (two) and North West (one).
  • Eastern Cape took three of the nine places in the Mathematics and Physical Science categories, followed by two for Limpopo and Western Cape and one each for Gauteng and KZN.
  • All top achievers will continue their education at a university. Actuarial Science is very popular (five), followed by Medicine and Computer Science (three) and Law, Mechatronics and Chemical Engineering (two). Other studies that will be pursued include Architecture, Social Work and Education.



logo-vodacom-f4b075fce0c862b2a98cb114029cc281db86afb4b329278affc997a731b2a570The winners in each category were congratulated on national TV by the Minister and Deputy Minister of Basic Education and received their Excellence Awards. In addition a host of sponsors including Avbob, Eduloan, eNCA, IDC, Massmart/Walmart, MTN Foundation, SABC and Vodacom Foundation presented prizes to all Top Achievers.

To the top 3 learners in the LSEN, Quintile 1 and all Mathematics and Physical Science categories, the Vodacom Foundation donated a laptop with Microsoft software (student license) and a laptop bag, 3 in 1 printer with wifi connectivity, wifi router, a Vodacom smart ultra 6 Cellphone; R220 airtime voucher and R220 worth of Data bundles and Vodacom simcards.


And this year's top achievers are:


Top Mathematics Achievers

Rebecca HainesTop Mathematics Achiever Rebecca Haines (image Bakonepix)First place
Rebecca Haines
Rustenburg Girls’ High School, Western Cape

Rebecca Haines from Cape Town would like to help people by studying Medicine at UCT. She will miss the teachers at her school who were equally supportive and encouraging as well as her many friends and the close-knit community she experienced at school.

Rebecca is most grateful to her family for their unwavering support even when she was struggling with schoolwork and her teachers for inspiring her to achieve and awakening a love for mathematics in her.

Second place
Tae Jun Park
Rondebosh Boys’ High School, Western Cape

With a passion for critical thinking and numbers Tae Jun Park will go on to study Actuarial Science at UCT. Tae Jun is most grateful for Mr Hellenberg who provided him with critical thinking skills and opened his eyes to what life after matric could look like for him. He is appreciative of the opportunities his school provided him and he’s excited about what lies ahead.

Third place
Aravind Arunakirinathar
Durban High School, Kwazulu-Natal

Aravind Arunakirinathar is pleased his final year of schooling is now over and looks forward to pursuing his ambition to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. His favourite teacher Mr Smyth will be missed for his commitment to providing learners with the best lessons. Coming from a school with a great sense of community, Aravind says he will miss the feeling of belonging he had at Durban High School.


Top Physical Science Achievers

Hamandishe MathivhaTop Physical Science Achiever Hamandishe Mathivha (Image: Bakonepix)First place
Hamandishe Mathivha
Mbiliwi Secondary School in Limpopo

With ambitions to start a computer and software company that will make advancements on science and technology, Hamandishe Mathivha form Sibasa in Limpopo will go on to study Computer Science at UCT.

His maths teacher, Mr Sikhitha, will be missed for the way he made complex mathematical problems understandable. Hamandishe will also miss the friendships he made over the years and the dedicated teachers who taught him and other learners and motivated then to perform well.

He is most grateful for all the encouragement he received from his mom to study harder and achieve his goals.

Second place
Kukhokuhle Tsengwa
St John’s College, Eastern Cape

Kukhokuhle Tsengwa from Willowvale has an interest in making and fixing things and learning how things work. He is set to study Mechatronics at UCT. He will miss the individual attention he received from his physical science teacher Mr Macingwana as well as the school morning assemblee which always set his positive mood for the day. Kukhokuhle is proud of his achievement but says words alone are not enough to thank his mom for all she has done.

Third place
Ernest Molelle
Reiger Park Secondary School, Gauteng

Ernest Molelle hopes that his study of Actuarial Science will explore the challenging aspects of mathematics and harness his analytical thought process. Despite coming from a drug and violence stricken community, Ernest is thankful for the quality education he received at school and to his adorable Aunt Agnes who steered him in the right direction and lightened the challenges he faced.


Top Mathematics and Physical Science Achievers

Top achievers on stageAll the top achievers on stage (Image: Bakonepix) First place
Hamandishe Mathivha
Mbiliwi Secondary School in Limpopo

See first place Top Achievers Phyical Science

Second place
Kukhokuhle Tsengwa
St John’s College, Eastern Cape

See second place Top Physical Science Achievers

Third place
Aviwe Blackbird
St John’s College. Eastern Cape

Aviwe Blackbirg from Flagstaff will study Actuarial Science, a subject he believes will allow him to explore his love for mathematical calculation. His favourite teacher Mr Nkondeka will be missed for being supportive and understanding. Aviwe says his school provided him with quality education and made sure learners are well equipped for life after matric.


Top LSEN Achievers

Noziphiwo MdingiTop LSEN Achiever Noziphiwo Mdingi (Image: Bakonepix)First place
Noziphiwo Mdingi
Efata School for the Blind and Deaf, Eastern Cape

Nozipho Mdingi from Kokstad is passionate about making a difference to the lives of people with disabilities and will study to be a social worker at UKZN.

Het favourite teacher Ms Mtwa will be missed for being a positive influence and for providing motivation when the year got tough. Noziphiwo is also thankful for all the teachers who supported her and provided her with the time to make sure she was exam-ready. As she takes the next steps in her journey, she will miss the encouraging environment of her school.

Second place
Ntshuxeko Maluleke
Rivoni School for the Blind, Limpopo

Ntshuxeko Maluleke from Malumele has dreamed of becoming a lawyer since his days in primary school and he will go on to study towards an LLB at the University of Venda. He will miss his mathematics teacher Mr Mahlangu for being friendly and and having an open door policy which allowed learners to thrive. Ntshuxeko is happy he could keep his promise to make his parents smile and says that is what drives him.

Third place
Selby Rihlapfu
Rivoni School for the Blind, Limpopo

Selby Rihlapfu from Malumele will pursue his love for the law as he will study for an LLB at the University of Venda. He will miss his teacher Mrs Sherinde who assisted him with economics and provided him with much-needed support when learning became challenging. Selby says he is most grateful to his fellow learner and second place top achiever Ntshuxeko Maluleko for all the support he provided throughout the year and being a blessing to him.


Top Achievers in Quintile 1

Mmangaliso DobeTop Achiever in Quintile 1 Mmangaliso Dobe (image: Bakonepix)First place
Mmangaliso Dobe
Toli Secondary School, Eastern Cape

In pursuing her love for mathematics, Mmangaliso Dobe from Lusikisiki plans to study either Actuarial Science or Mechatronics. She will miss het class teacher Mr Kwate for his friendly nature and will remember deputy principal Mrs Madolo for always encouraging and motivating her to do her best at school. Mmangoliso is most grateful for the support and encouragement she received from both her parents and how they motivated her to always work harder.

Second place
Dimpho Phalane
Mampotjane Secondary School, Limpopo

Dimpho Phalane from Klipheuwel will pursue her passion for mathematics and physical science and go on to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Pretoria. Dimpho will miss her physical science class, the dedicated and loving teachers and her fellow learners. Her sisters Naledi and Faith were crucial to her success and she is grateful for the love, support, encouragement and belief they showed her.

Third place
John Sibanda
Maxeke Secondary School, Gauteng

Following the tragic passing of a family member because a doctor was unavailable, John Sibanda from Evaton is committed to ensuring this doesn’t happen to anyone else and he will go on to study Medicine. He will miss his favourite teacher Mrs Tafirei for her patience and dedication in teaching learners life sciences. He thanks his biggest influence in making him a better individual and helping him realise his goals.


Top Achievers in Quintile 2

Fuluphelani MashaphaTop Achiever in Quintile 2 Fuluphelani Mashapha (Image: Bakonepix)First place
Fuluphelani Mashapha
Tshivhase Secondary School, Limpopo

Fuluphelani Mashapha will pursue her love for analysing things and set out to study Actuarial Science at UCT.

She will miss her favourite teacher Mrs Mutshembele for always motivating and encouraging learners to believe in themselves. She fondly remembers her interactions with her mathematics teacher as well as the passion and commitment shown by the rest of her teachers.

Second place
Phindulo Mphaphuli
Tshivhase Secondary School, Limpopo

Phindulo Mphaphuli will explore how chemicals are made by studying Chemical Engineering at Wits. He is highly appreciative of the support he received from his favourite teacher Mrs Mutshembele over the years. Phindulo will miss the fun and debates he had with teachers and learners in the open and friendly environment of his school.

Third place
Ernest Molelle
Reiger Park Secondary School

See third place Top Achiever in Physical Science


Top Achievers in Quintile 3

Mapula SebatiTop Achiever in Quintile 3 Mapula Sebati (Image: Bakonepix)First place
Mapula Sebati
Dendron Secondary School, Limpopo

Mapula Sebati from Dendron is going to study Accounting Science as she sets out to achieve her goal of becoming a corporate leader in the future. She is most grateful for the encouragement of her principal who always had wise words to share, pushing learners to thrive academically and as members of society. Her fellow learner Pheidra Ngoepe has been her biggest inspiration for showing her the results of hard work and encouraging her to work harder.

Second place
Namhla Juqu
Centre of Science & Technology, Western Cape

Namhla Juqu from Cape Town is drawn to Chemical Engineering as it involves problem solving and will allow her to address problems faced by the world. She will miss her school’s interactive learning environment which resulted in stimulating debate and exposure to topics addressing life issues.

Third place
Seboniso Boholo
Thuto Kitso Comprehensive School, Gauteng

Seboniso Bolo from Merafong City is ecstatic his matric year is over as he looks forward to studying Chemical Engineering at Wits University. He will miss his favourite teacher Mr Magoro for testing his knowledge and challenging him in his favourite subject, physical science. Seboniso is inspired by his parents and teachers saying they motivated him to succeed.


Top Achievers in Quintile 4

Simone HeenopTop Achiever in Quintile 4 Simone Heenop (Image: Bakonepix)First place
Simoné Heenop
Gelofte Skool, KwaZulu-Natal

Simoné Heenop is passionate about making a difference and will go on to study Foundation Phase Education at the University of Potchefstroom. Her accounting teacher Mrs Gravett will be fondly remembered for being organised and supportive and for ensuring learners were prepared for the challenging final exams. Simoné feels blessed and thankful for the support of her family, teachers and friends and was greatly inspired by her headmaster who always put the learners best interest first.

Second place
Carel Coetzee
Potchefstroom Gimnasium, North West

Carel Coetzee from Potchefstroom is set to study Architecture exploring a subject that challenges both his creativity and mathematical abilities. He will miss the dry sense of humour of his maths teacher as well as the homely food served at the tuck schop at school. He is proud of the opportunities the school provided him and the mutual respect between teachers and students.

Third place
Hamandishe Mathiva
Mbilwi Secondary School, Limpopo

See first place Top Achievers Phyical Science


Top Achievers in Quintile 5

Andrew TuckerTop Achiever in Quintile 5 Andrew Tucker (Image: Bakonepix)First place
Andrew Tucker
SA College High School, Western Cape

When Andrew Tucker from Cape Town was diagnosed with GBS, a rare auto immune disease, in 2015, he realised he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others by going to study Medicine at UCT.

Mr Naude will be remembered as a real legend of a teacher. He taught Andrew important life skills, provided a lot of humour in class and was an outstanding Afrikaans teacher. Andrew is incredibly grateful to SACS headmaster and staff who rallied behind him and provided him with invaluable support and encouragement as he missed the first term of school due to his condition and faced a slow recovery process over the rest of his matric year.

Second place
Wiliam Mey
Tygerberg High School, Western Cape

William Mey from Parow will be studying towards a BSc degree in Computer Science and also wishes to stimulate his creative side by studying Animation in the future.

While he had amazing educators and each one was his favourite, Mrs Marais would be missed most for not hesitating to go the extra mile to ensure he exceled in her accounting class. William will miss being part of the musical community at school. He thanks his educators, parents, brother and granny for their unconditional support and love.

Third place
Tala Ross
Claremont High School, Western Cape

Tala Ross from Cape Town plans on studying Computer Engineering at UCT which she feels combines her mathematical problem solving skills with her creativity. Her favourite teacher Ms Schlesinger will be missed for challenging learners to think independently and debate issues. Principal and maths teacher Mr Gibbon will be remembered fondly for finding brilliant ways to liven up lessons. Tala is also grateful for all those she encountered in her personal life who overcame tough circumstances, reminding her not to take anything for granted.


Source: The National Senior Certificate Examination Results Ministerial Announcement 5 January 2016.

Images: Abbey Sebatha Bakonepix


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