Recent trends in the field of Economics have led to renewed interest in the teaching and learning of Economics. According to the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement of the South African Department of Basic Education, the teaching of Economics intends to empower learners to become responsible citizens who can use their resources wisely. This suggests that Economics must be taught to equip learners with skills, knowledge and values of how best they can use limited resources to improve their socio-economic conditions. For this reason, good leadership is needed to support Economics teachers in schools. Such leadership requires knowledge and understanding of the context in which the teaching and learning of Economics take place. Against this background, this study sought to examine how heads of departments (HoDs) use contextual intelligence in leading the instructional programme for Grade 12 Economics. A qualitative research methodology, based on a case study design, was followed in collecting data through semi-structured interviews with Economics HoDs and teachers purposively selected from three secondary schools in Riba Cross District, Limpopo province. Findings suggest that HoDs experience contextual challenges in leading instructional programme for Grade 12 Economics and tend to have little understanding of how contextual intelligence can assist in dealing with challenges affecting the effective teaching and learning of the subject in their schools.