The newly appointed head of the Western Cape Education Department, Brian Schreuder, has confirmed reports that the pass marks for Grades 7 to 9 in mathematics has been lowered by 20%.
In explaining the decision, Schreuder says there were concerns that learners were passing other subjects but failing mathematics.
When a learner, specifically those in Grades 7 to 9, has failed mathematics it means they can't be promoted to another level because mathematics is a compulsory pass subject.
Mathematics is a huge problem in our society. The quality and the number of passes in mathematics is a challenge.
— Brian Schreuder, head of the Western Cape Education Department
A directive was issued for those learners who have passed everything but failed mathematics be considered so that they can continue to FET's or Grade 10.
A decision was taken that the group of learners who fail mathematics must not have less than 20% minimum pass mark to be given an opportunity to do mathematics literacy, says Schreuder.

However the Western Cape is not happy with 20%, we think its too low, it should've been 30%.
— Brian Schreuder, head of the Western Cape Education Department
Listen below to more on the mathematics minimum pass mark: