Failure to deliver textbooks to schools in Limpopo has affected exam results in that province, the Sunday Times reported.
According to the paper, 70% of Grade 10 pupils in 25 Limpopo schools failed their June exams.
This amounted to 3 174 of 4 529 pupils.
Principals told the paper the dire results were likely to be mirrored in the rest of the province.
"Teachers are willing to assist, even over weekends, but we don't have any money to pay them," said Henry Raedani of Azwifarwi Secondary School.
"The children have been suffering without books."
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the media had overplayed the failure to deliver textbooks.
"This question of no teaching for six months is a media story, and now principals are jumping on the bandwagon when they have not done their work," she was quoted as saying.
Limpopo ANC Youth League spokesperson Jacob Lebogo reportedly said both Motshekga and Limpopo MEC for education Dickson Masemola should be removed. — Sapa.