Cape Town - Thousands of students were already flocking to tertiary institutions on Sunday trying to secure a spot for the new academic year.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology spokesperson Lauren Kansley said students seeking last-minute admissions were always expected.
However, she said their priority remained with those who applied on time and had been officially accepted.
“Only once those students have accepted their places do we start considering walk-ins in courses with space.”
Kansley added that parents and students should liaise only with official university staff, not those purporting to be able to assist.
Kansley said scammers may target desperate individuals.
University of the Western Cape student representative secretary Bongani Mbelekana said they were already assisting new students.
“We understand the devastations and frustrations of being a new student. We are here to help those who will be coming to UWC.
“I was surprised to see students coming to our campus already. We've allocated rooms for them to sleep.”
Despite some universities already saying they are full and will not be considering walk-ins, Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor said she was hoping for a smooth opening of the 2019 academic year.
She said that where there were challenges, the department was ready to assist the management of the institutions to speedily resolve those issues.
Pandor said matriculants who had applied for admission to tertiary institution but had not yet received confirmation of a place in their programme of choice were encouraged to contact the Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) system.
CACH is a government online service ran by the department to assist those who want to access universities, colleges and skills development opportunities. Department spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said that where places existed and applicants met the requirements, the institutions would directly contact applicants to offer them available places.
Ngqengelele said CACH was particularly useful for people who had applied for admission to a tertiary institution in time in 2018, but had not been offered a place in their programme of choice.
“It is also useful for prospective students who had applied to institutions and had met the entry requirement based on their Grade 11 results, but find that their Grade 12 results do not meet the entry requirements.”
Ngqengelele said CACH also provided access to skills development opportunities, including artisan programmes and learnerships.
He said institutions with skills development or study opportunities would then select potential students from the CACH database and make direct contact with those selected.
He said the CACH 2019 service was opened on Friday until February 28; Mondays to Fridays from 8am-6pm, and Saturdays from 8am-4.30pm.
Individuals can either register or sign up online via the website www.cach.dhet.gov.za or contact the call centre on 0860356635 or SMS with their name and ID number to 49200.