Angie Motshekga, Gauteng education MEC, yesterday visited Bhukulani Senior Secondary School in Zondi, Soweto, to congratulate the school on their performance in last year's matric exams.
The school achieved a 95,3percent pass rate.
Addressing pupils, teachers and parents at assembly, Motshekga said: "This is a courtesy call from the department to thank you very much for your hard work.
"We are grateful to all educators and we acknowledge that we need schools like Bhukulani."
She encouraged students to take advantage of opportunities.
Mduduzi Mathe, the school's principal, said Bhukulani was once one of the worst-performing schools but because of teachers' commitment and students' hard work they have turned the results around.
In 1997 the school got a 21,5percent matric pass rate.
"I came to the school in 1997 and was appointed principal in 1998 and I decided to change the strategy by working hand-in-hand with the teachers.
The results improved. And in 1998 the school received a 70percent pass rate increase and it has been so doing ever since.
Though the school received a 95,3percent pass rate last year, a 2,2percent decrease from 2006, Mathe is optimistic.
"We are satisfied with what we have achieved and we will definitely do better this year. We are aiming for a 100percent pass rate."