Brand South Africa urges Class of 2014 to Play Their Part in building our countryTop performers in the 2014 national matriculation exams at the announcement of the results on 5 January 2015.Johannesburg, Tuesday 6 January 2015 – Brand South Africa congratulates all the Class of 2014 for successfully concluding their formal school careers. We wish the matriculants well as they pursue opportunities beyond the walls of their schools and urge them to play their part to positively contribute towards building our country.South Africa has produced sterling examples of how dynamic, tenacious and inspiring young people can play their part to fly our national flag beyond our shores including, amongst others, Mandla Maseko who is the first black South African astronaut as well as Siya Xuza who has had a minor planet named after him by NASA based on his ground-breaking work. A little piece of South Africa lives in space through the planet named Siyaxuza.South African’s such as Siya and Mandla show us why it is critical that the National Development Plan be implemented with haste since all young people in our country must be empowered to achieve their full potential which will contribute to our country’s global competitiveness and reputation.The NDP has adopted a “youth lens” in preparing its proposals to ensure young people become active, contributing citizens and will see young people receiving quality education – particularly around maths and science programmes, skills transfer and training.The NDP also prioritises leadership as a pillar our country’s growth and development. The building of leaders begins at the foundation stages of a child’s life and the education system as well as the community must be part of this process. Leaders are not built by governments rather by families and communities. How can we therefore play our part to ensure that we nurture the development of leaders in, amongst others, our homes, communities, workplaces? This is something that all South Africans must begin to reflect on.To the class of 2015, Brand South Africa encourages you to take up the challenge to improve upon the 2014 matric results and to grow the skills base that South Africa has to offer. We wish you luck in the year ahead and urge to seize all the opportunities this county has to offer.Notes to the editorAbout the 2014 Matriculation exams• A total of 688 660 candidates were registered to write the year-end examination• Of this number, 550 127 were full time students• Kwazulu-Natal had the largest group of full time candidates and Gauteng had the lowest• Girls dominated the cohort of 2014 candidates, making up 54.6 per cent of the matric group• Examinations were written across 6740 locations with 65 000 invigilators overseeing the five-week writing period• A total of 41 000 markers at 118 marking venues then tackled the assessment of the examination papers produced.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, helping to improve its global competitiveness. It also aims to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, contributing to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.More resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit SouthAfrica.info and Media Club South Africa for further resources that can be reproduced without any copyright infringement. Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.