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There are two categories of Catholic schools in terms of the South African Schools Act:
Public Schools on Private Property - These are schools on church-owned property. They were formerly called state-aided schools and now exist under Section 14 of the South African Schools Act (1996). Under agreements signed with provincial education departments the schools have the right to promote and preserve their special religious character.
Independent Schools - These schools are owned by dioceses and religious congregations. The majority serve predominantly disadvantaged communities. 75% of these schools are in townships or rural areas often offering superior education in spite of being under resourced.
346 Catholic schools in South Africa
250 are public schools on private property
95 are independent schools
170 857 learners, of whom
52.57% are girls
89.96% are black
26.53% are Catholic
6 951 educators and 2317 non teaching staff
54.67% of Catholic schools charge fees below R50 per year, with a further
51% charging fees between R50 and R100, and
11.61% between R100 and R500 per year. In total
72.8% of Catholic schools charge below R500 a year.
Catholic schools have a proud and long tradition of providing education of high quality. This is most often reflected in the achievement of matriculants in the Senior Certificate Examinations. The 7 821 candidates in the 2008 examinations achieved 85.3% pass rate.