Levitt who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2013 said education needs to be South Africa’s number one priority.
“One thing that shocked me was that when I was at Rhodes University they said their best students were from Zimbabwe,” he told the Sunday Times.
“Zimbabwe has had its own political problems, yet the school system there is considered better than the one in South Africa.”
Rhodes University is one of the most prestigious universities in South Africa.
Zimbabwe has often boasted that it has the highest literacy rate in Africa but this has been disputed by some organisations in South Africa.