Gov to university seekers denied placement: use CACH

The higher education system is in an uproar at the moment as students protest for accessible education following a disastrous year for South Africa (and the world) in 2020. Amidst this Minister of Higher Education and Training, Science and Innovation – Doctor Blade Nzimande – has advised students to make use of the Central Application Clearing House (CACH).

“The Central Application Clearing House is a system meant to assist individuals to access university, college and skills development opportunities following unsuccessful applications before the publication of their Grade 12 results. The system opened on 22 February 2021 as an online service designed and introduced by the Department of Higher Education and Training,” reads an announcement.

22nd February 2021 was also the day that the 2020 Matric results were released. While the pass rate did fall slightly, this year, like all years, will see many Matric students failing to find a place at universities, which is where CACH comes in.

CACH is designed for students who applied for admission on time in 2020, met the entry requirements with their grade 12 results, but then were not offered a place in the programme of their choosing.

CACH also has many other uses students can make use of such as work experience, development programmes, the opportunities for funding and more., but it should be noted that applications to it will close in August 2021.

The system has three 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.
  • 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 sign up services above do not operate 24/7, however. They will be active weekdays between 08:00 and 18:00, and Saturdays between 08:00 and 14:00.


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