Online applications for 2019 grade one and eight pupils opened on Monday morning with about 45 239 applications for grade 1 and 8 classes already completed in the first hour of the online system going live.

Here are eight things applicants need to know:

1. To apply, log onto www.gdeadmissions.co.za. Click on Apply for 2019. Then complete the following three steps:

  • Step 1 Enter your details as a child's parent or guardian.
  • Step 2 Enter the child's details.
  • Step 3 Apply for the school of your choice.

You will then receive a waiting list number and a list of documents which need to be submitted to the school of your choice.

2. Parents have until 28 May to apply for their child using the online registration system.

3. Foreign learners are allowed to apply for school places in Gauteng. According to Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, "There will be a drop button that will ask for their country of origin and it will pick up the relevant documentation." He said the education department system has been linked to the Home Affairs Department which would make it easy for learners to receive study permits faster. 

4. The system can handle 35,000 parents per second, so no parents will say the system is hanging. "We have modernised this system, it will take parents less than five minutes," Lesufi said.

5. Parents of grade R learners should not assume that their children will be migrated immediately. They have to apply.

6. Lesufi said parents now had the option to choose which school they wanted their child to attend and wouldn't be forced to select certain schools based on their demographics and language. You will now also be able to select if you want a boarding school, all boys or all girls school.

7. Each parent is allowed to apply five times. It is important for parents to confirm or decline placement offers within seven days of receiving the offer.

8. Parents who want to physically apply can also go to their nearest district offices, where they would be assisted. Alternatively, they can call the GDE call centre on 0800 000 789.