This paper presents a quantitative overview of the current South African independent schooling sector. Historically, research on the sector has been partial, resulting in questions about its current size and profile. A recent survey revealed that the sector has grown considerably since the nineties and that official sources underestimate its size. Some popular myths about the sector being largely white and elitist are dispelled by the study, which shows that historically disadvantaged learners currently constitute more than 70% of all learners and that more than 50% of all schools charge low to average fees. However, there is also evidence of new forms of inequity emerging and poor performance in parts of the independent sector, of which roleplayers in the sector should be aware.
Jacques Louis du Toit is a Chief Researcher and Coordinator of the Urban Renewal and Development Unit within the Surveys, Analyses, Modelling and Mapping research programme of the HSRC. He has also managed and conducted several surveys, analyses and evaluations for the Human Resources Development research programme at the HSRC. Jacques' qualifications and work experience has led him to specialise in multi-disciplinary development research using different applied research strategies, i.e. quantitative, qualitative and evaluative.