Hundreds of Grade 12 students in Mpumalanga might not be able to write when the exams start on Friday.
This is because they don't appear on the marking sheets or have been allocated to write wrong subjects.
Frustrated principals in the Nkangala region said they were shocked on Friday when they realised that some of their students were given the wrong subjects while others did not appear on the marking sheets.
"We don't know what has happened," said one principal.
"We sent the names of all our pupils and their subjects to headquarters in Nelspruit in March and everything was correct.
"Though the exams begin this Friday our pupils have yet to receive their personal timetables."
The affected schools include Malatse High in Lefiso, Ratlhagane High in Pankop, Khamane High in Marapyane and Letlhabile High in GaMaria.
Another principal said: "When we enquired one official said the people in charge of exams were removed from their posts last year and the current ones were still finding their feet."
Education Department spokesman Jasper Zwane said the delay in giving matriculants personal timetables was caused by a typing error.
"There is no crisis and matriculants should receive their timetables tomorrow," Zwane said yesterday.
One matriculant said this could destroy the morale of pupils who are about to write exams.
This kind of confusion in Mpumalanga is not new.
Pupils usually see their results in newspapers saying they have passed only to discover at their various schools that they have failed.
In other cases, their subjects were converted to higher or lower grade while others were marked absent from exam rooms