literacy South Africa

Minister Angie Motshekga speaking at the launch of the National Reading Coalition (NRC): a self-sustaining, agile ecosystem of reading initiatives across South Africa – Photo: GCIS

Revealed: These are the provinces with the most unqualified teachers

Minister Angie Motshekga provided a breakdown of the number of educators that are not academically and professionally qualified.

literacy South Africa

Minister Angie Motshekga speaking at the launch of the National Reading Coalition (NRC): a self-sustaining, agile ecosystem of reading initiatives across South Africa – Photo: GCIS

Minister of Education Angie Motshekga revealed that the Cape provinces are employing most of the unqualified and under-qualified teachers in South Africa in a written reply to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance.

READ: Motshekga plans to rebuild SA education system – with English ‘on its way out’


The DA’s shadow education minister Baxolile Nodada asked Motshekga about the number of under-qualified educators who have been identified for their positions in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

To qualify as a teacher, educators must possess matric along with a three-year professional qualification and be clued up about subject matter and methodology.

Motshekga said under-qualified teachers are educators who “are professionally qualified both in terms of subject matter and methodology” but do not possess the required “matric plus three-year professional requirement.” Whereas unqualified teachers are educators that have neither academic nor professional qualifications but have a matric certificate.

As of 2022, most new educators possess a four-year qualification and earn a minimum of R284 238 per annum. For comparison, those with three years of study get R214 908. The remuneration increases as teachers gain experience.

Motshekga revealed that the number of under-qualified teachers employed by the department is decreasing – 912 were employed in 2019; 706 in 2020 and 547 in 2021.

Nodada also asked for a specific breakdown of the teachers that are under-qualified and unqualified per district and province.

 The detailed information – at a school level – was not published on the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) website, however, a summary showed how many unqualified and under-qualified are employed in each province as of December 2021.

Motshekga said 218 of the educators in the table below are permanent employees.

EASTERN CAPE                                      29132161
FREE STATE                                        444084
GAUTENG                                           86270
KWAZULU/NATAL                                     12315138
MPUMALANGA                                        563288
NORTH WEST                                        38487
NORTHERN CAPE                                     30810318
WESTERN CAPE                                      456155611
TOTAL1 0285471 575

The DA’s shadow education minister asked Motshekga what the education department is doing to “compel” the affected educators to go for further education and upskill themselves in their missing subject knowledge and qualifications.

The minister replied:

“Over the years the Department has implemented various programmes, particularly, to assist un-and-under-qualified educators to improve their qualifications. The National Professional Diploma was implemented as an interim qualification for the purpose of upgrading under-qualified educators.”

Earlier this month, Nodada questioned the minister about the number of vacant teaching posts in each province and she said there were 10 0667 teaching post level 1 vacancies in the country out of a total of 310 538 posts, as of December 2021.

PROVINCEAll PL1 TeachersNumber of PL1 vacanciesVacancy rate
EASTERN CAPE                                      44 0544 77710.8%
FREE STATE                                        17 1721210.7%
GAUTENG                                           54 863870.2%
KWAZULU/NATAL                                     72 0372 2373.1%
LIMPOPO PROVINCE                                  40 8283 2197.9%
MPUMALANGA                                        26 850740.3%
NORTHERN CAPE                                     7 236230.3%
NORTH WEST                                        21 786890.4%
WESTERN CAPE                                      25 712400.2%
Grand Total310 53810 6673.4%