CACH Application and Login Guide

If you applied for a chance at a college or university but were not accepted, you might have another opportunity with Central Application Clearing House (CACH). CACH will help you secure a place at a university or college in South Africa. The Central Application Clearing House (CACH) helps students who have not been given a place at the college or University in which they applied, to find placement in another college or university.

CACH Application
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What is CACH (Central Application Clearing House)?

Central Application Clearing House is an integrated referral service for students, training institutions, and post-school education in South Africa. This service caters to individuals who qualify for university entrance but have yet to be offered a place. Thousands of prospective students looking to study at higher education institutions turn to the Central Application Clearing House each academic year for placement. The CACH facility sends the student’s information to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, universities, and the sector education and training authorities (SETAs) in South Africa for leadership. The institutions that have placed will contact you if you meet the requirements to offer you a place.

Since its inception in 2013, CACH has offered matriculants a second chance to secure entrance into higher learning institutions in South Africa. This invaluable service helps learners whose original applications were not successful but qualify, subsequently, once their final 12th-grade results are released. The CACH service collects information on students with grade 12 results who are looking to get a placement at a higher learning institution. Institutions and the sector education and training authorities (SETAs) utilize the database for placement.

All public universities, TVET colleges, as well as SETAs can access the database through their website, a self-service portal, to search for students who meet their requirements for the available spaces. The system will then send an e-mail or SMS to those selected for them to reject or accept the offer. If you accept the offer, the institution will contact you directly. The information collected by CACH is treated with similar confidentiality as that of direct applicants by higher learning institutions.

The CACH service is offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training freely to both institutions and applicants. This temporary mechanism was created to assist prospective students who seek to enter institutions of higher education but face the following scenarios:

  • Applied to their higher institutions of choice on time but their applications were rejected, and now it’s too late to apply somewhere else.
  • Did not apply because they didn’t meet the entry requirement based on their 11th-grade results but later find that they meet the entry requirements when their 12th-grade results are released.
  • They met the entry requirement based on their 11th-grade results and applied but now don’t meet the entry requirements when their 12th-grade results are released.
  • Are clueless about what to specialize in or study after completing matric.
  • Have an idea of what to study but are unsure if their choice is their ideal career.

How Does CACH Work?

CACH works following a series of steps. These includes:

Step 1 

A student who has not received an offer of space from the institution they applied for, or is looking for PSET learning opportunities, contacts Central Applications Clearing House via a toll-free number (call 0800 356 635), or through a standard Short Message Service (SMS ID and name to 49200), or you can register online on their website ( ).

How to Apply on the CACH Online Application Portal

  1. Open your browser on your internet-enabled device.
  2. Visit the CACH online application portal through the link.
  3. Enter your ID number (if you are a South African citizen) or passport number (if you are a foreign student)
  4. Once you are on the page, fill in the following details:
    • Grade 12 exam number
    • ID type
    • ID number
    • First name
    • Middle name
    • Surname
    • Cell Number
    • Email address
    • Province in which you live.
    • Field of study
    • Program / Course
  5. Select your preferred method of communication.
  6. Indicate Yes / No if you are interested in leadership.
  7. Indicate Yes / No if you agree to share.
  8. Finally, click on ‘Send’

Step 2

If you sent an SMS to 49200, CACH agents will call you back free of charge from the contact center. They will register all the required details on their CACH database, including the student’s chosen field of study as well as the province they would wish to study at.

If you made a call to the contact center on the toll-free number, 0800 356 635, the CACH agent answering your call in the call center will register your required details on the CACH database, including the province you wish to study in and your chosen field of study.

If you carried out an online self-help registration, you, the applicant, will register all the required details on the CACH database, again including your chosen field of study as well as the province you wish to study in.

Step 3 

The applicant’s matric results and personal details will be automatically verified before being transferred to higher learning institutions for possible placements. Where an applicant submitted an incomplete application, the applicant will be contacted to ensure a complete application is processed.

Step 4 

Once the verification of the learner’s information has been successfully completed, it will be forwarded to higher learning institutions that still have openings in the chosen field of study.

At the end of a CACH process, where places exist, and learners meet the set criterion, institutions will directly contact the applicants to offer them available spaces. If a higher learning institution does not contact you directly, you will assume that you were not successfully placed. Applicants will then be required to pay registration fees to the institution if they want to secure their space, or in some cases, a late application fee.

It is important to note that CACH is not a late application service and cannot, therefore, be used as such. If you are looking for Universities still accepting applications – you can see the current list of open late applications. Any prospective student who signs up for CACH and yet is not listed on any of the unsuccessful applicants’ lists issued by PSET institutions to CACH will be forwarded to the Department of Education and Training – Career Development Services for assistance.

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