Johannesburg, Wednesday 6 January 2016 – Brand South Africa congratulates the Matric Class of 2015 on successfully completing their formal school career. Obtaining a matric certificate is considered to be one of life’s highlights that leads to a new chapter filled with opportunities to build a better the future.In congratulating the Matric Class of 2015 Brand South Africa’s CEO, Mr Kingsley Makhubela said, “When young people claim their right to health, education and decent working conditions, they become a powerful force for economic development and positive change. I applaud each of the 799 306 candidates who registered for and wrote for the 2015 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations – for your commitment to playing a positive role in moving our country forward. Thank you for playing your part in building our nation.”Mr Makhubela added, “We would also like to thank all teachers for providing South Africa’s learners with a solid education and investing in them to enable them to reach their full potential. As teachers you are responsible for shaping the future generations of our country. You have once again, encouraged our country to work hard and steadily in order to accomplish our goals as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP).”“We acknowledge that our young people are facing many challenges in modern day society, hence the NDP is formulated with a youth-centric lens. With over 54 million South Africans, 18.5% are between the ages 10-19; and 24% are aged 15-24. These statistics indicate that our young people must really be prioritised in terms of our developmental agenda so that they can be equipped with the skills and education to move our country forward,” concluded Mr MakhubelaThe 2015 matric exam national pass rate declined from 75.8% in 2014 to 70.7%. The Western Cape was the best performing province in the 2015 National Senior Certificate examination with an 84.7% pass rate. Gauteng followed closely with an 84.2% pass rate. The Free State was the third-best performing province with an 81.6% pass rate, followed by North West with 81.5%.