As tensions mount in South Africa’s higher education sector, Minister Dr Blade Nzimande on Monday urged prospective students who applied to public tertiary institutions but were not offered places to contact the Central Application Clearing House (CACH) for help.

In a statement, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology said the CACH was particularly useful for those who applied for admission to a university or college on time last year and met the entry requirements when their grade 12 examination results were released, but were not admitted to their programme of choice.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande briefs media on progress in the implementation of COVID19 measures in the Post School Education and Training Sector at Ronnie Mamoepa Press Room , Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard Street, Hatfield, Pretoria. South Africa. 09/06/2020. Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

It could also help those who had applied and met the entry requirement based on their grade 11 results, but whose grade 12 results fell short.

“CACH also provides referrals to career development services, funding opportunities, and skills development opportunities including artisan programmes and learnerships,” said Nzimande.

“Institutions with skills development or study opportunities will then select potential students from the CACH database and make direct contact with those selected.”

The CACH, an online service designed by the department of higher education and training, went live on February 22.

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

The service operates in the following phases:

Phase 1: Individuals looking for space in the post-school education and training (PSET) system can SMS their name and ID number to 31629 and be called back free of charge. Individuals can also register or sign up online via the website:

Phase 2: In the case of an SMS, the agents will call a prospective student back free of charge. The agents will then register all requested details on the CACH database, indicating the learners’ chosen field of study and the province they wish to study.

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Phase 3: The applicant’s details and matric results will be confirmed, verified, and automatically transferred to institutions of higher learning for possible admission and placement on confirmation by the applicant.

Phase 4: Where places exist and applicants meet the requirements, institutions will contact applicants directly to offer them available places.

The service will be available until the end of April.