South Africa is failing too many of its young people when it comes to education. Although it has made significant progress since the end of apartheid in widening access this has not always translated into a quality education for all pupils. The system continues to be dogged by stark inequalities and chronic underperformance that have deep roots in the legacy of apartheid, but which are also not being effectively tackled by the current government. The result is many schools with crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms and poor educational outcomes. South Africa needs to prioritise investment to meet its own targets on critical infrastructure.