Responding to the announcement of the 2012 pass rate, Head of the Wits School of Education, Prof Ruksana Osman described the result as "generally pleasing with an upward trajectory".
Osman said the fact that all the provinces had also improved their overall pass rates was to be commended.
"What is important to remember is that those who didn't make it this time around must be encouraged to return to try again. The maths and science pass rates are also positive but still need work," said Osman.
Gauteng's status as the province with the highest pass rate was due to the hard work of teachers and Education MEC Barbara Creecy.
Wits Lecturer in maths education, Lynn Bowie, said the pass rates for mathematics and science was similarly something to smile about.
Bowie said: "It is really pleasing. The maths pass rate had been hovering around the 46% mark since 2008, so it's a welcome increase. This is hopefully the start of a turnaround for these subjects."