WALALA WASALA! (you snooze you lose)

Sikhulule Ngxowa

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Writer : Thokozile Mahlangu   We know that almost everyone is sitting around relaxing instead of applying to tertiary institutions while there is still time and space available. Most of us also know about the stampede at the University of Johannesburg, where a student lost his mother while attempting to register for one of the […]

Writer : Thokozile Mahlangu


We know that almost everyone is sitting around relaxing instead of applying to tertiary institutions while there is still time and space available.

Most of us also know about the stampede at the University of Johannesburg, where a student lost his mother while attempting to register for one of the precious remaining spots. This story is and will always be disturbing to everyone.

So listen up! Time wasted can never be returned. So everyone — but especially those interested in professional degrees (e.g. health sciences, accounting, social work, etc.) — start those applications now, as professional programmes close earlier than others, some as soon as the end of May or June.

Applying to tertiary institutions can be stressful, so LIVE has done the heavy lifting and gathered a bunch of important information for you here. So get up and go, because you know what they say: “You snooze, you lose”.



To all matriculants: start your applications now, because by January, most tertiary institutions are full.

Though almost everyone dreams of going to a University, it’s not the only option (unless you want to venture into a career like bio-medical technology or zoology, in which case university is the way to go). So grade 12s, listen up: colleges, universities of technology, and FET colleges are all also out there, and can equally channel you to your desired career.

Those with a National Senior Certificate (NSC or Matric) are eligible to further their studies at tertiary institutions like Universities or private colleges, where they can achieve a degree (e.g., a Bachelors or Arts or Sciences, and later, Honours, Masters and PhDs) or, if attending a University of Technology (aka Technikon), a diploma.

If you’re interested in pursuing a vocational career, you can head straight from Grade 9 to an FET, or Further Education Institution, where you can earn a National Certificate Vocational (NCV). The NCV is an exciting new three-year qualification that makes you employable at the end of Grade 12. It’s aimed at students who have completed Grade 9, know what they want from life, how they want to get there, and don’t want to first complete Grade 12 before they start out on life’s great adventure.


Studying at an FET leads to a vocational career, like hospitality, office administration, tourism and building, to name just a few.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if your family is not financially stable it doesn’t mean that you can’t further your studies! You are not your background. Utilise the present to create a future that is a real definition of you. Let’s shine against all odds.

LIVE got a word of advice about the application process from four students from different institutions who are looking forward to their bright futures.

  • Prayer Sindane 21, Electrical engineering at Nkangala FET College (Mpumalanga)

Prayer ventured into the engineering world by choosing electrical engineering. She is also someone who “relaxed” during application time. “When I was in grade 12, I knew that the [final] deadlines for applying to Nkangala College were in January of the year of studying, so I decided to take my time and register in January. If only I knew that the queues were going to be that long and the sun that hot, I would have applied earlier. My advice to all grade 12s out there is to do it as soon as you get your June results.”

Closing date for applying: January 2013

Admission enquiries: (013) 656-2597




  • VB Mahlangu 22, Information technology at Tshwane University of Technology

For VB, the closing date of 15 August at Tshwane University of Technology was something she always had in mind, as she was well-informed about the long queues in the year of study. “I believe in applying early, which I did, but my main concern was where I was going to get the money to study. By applying early I got the opportunity to apply for a NSFAS bursary, which is assisting me a lot with financing my studies.”

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a loan that is offered to students whose gross family income is under R140 000 per annum.


Closing date for applying: 15 August 2012

Admission enquiries: (012) 383-5750

Application for NSFAS loan: 31 October 2012

Late application for NSFAS: 13 January 2013


  • Dumisani Tlou 23, Network Specialist at University of South Africa (Gauteng)

Dumisani chose UNISA, an open distance learning (ODL) institution with a student-centered approach that gives student flexibility and choice over what, when and how you learn.

“I needed to work on the side and earn extra cash [while studying]. So I applied at UNISA because you work on your own timetable, and you get to choose how many modules you want to do per semester. The disadvantage of studying at UNISA is that they don’t offer practicals, unless your course is computer related. The advantage is that it is affordable and highly flexible, especially if you need to work while you’re in school.”


Closing date for applying: 15 September

Admission enquiries: www.unisa.ac.za

Payment information: www.unisa.ac.za/paymentinfo

  • Azande Ngxongxela 22, marketing at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Western Cape)

Azande knew exactly what she wanted and so applied early to make things easier.

“Applying early is always an advantage because you get to apply for exactly what you want to study, whereas when you apply late, the course that you were interested in studying may be full. You will have to make a quick decision picking a second-choice course, which is why most students end up dropping out. Apply as early as possible.”


Closing date for applying: 31 August 2012

Closing dates for design portfolios: 31 July

Admission enquiries: (021) 869 8787



TIP: When applying make sure you have a certified copy of your school qualification e.g. Senior certificate, and a copy of your ID ready.

Stressed about financing your fees? Here are some useful sources to check out:


Website: www.nsfas.org.za

Tel: (021) 763 3232



Website: www.fundisa.org.za



Absa: 0860 111 456

Nedbank: 0860 123 263

Standard Bank: 086 386 3472

Contact Info

University deadlines vary, so use the contacts below to find out when and what you must submit to apply depending on the programme you’re interested in.

Rhodes University

tel: 046 603 8111

closing date for applying: 30 September 2012

website – www.ru.ac.za

University of Cape Town

tel: 021 650 9111

closing date for applying: 30 September 2012

website – www.uct.ac.za

University of Kwazulu-Natal

tel: 031 260 1111

closing date for applying:

medicine: 30 June 2012

all other programmes: 30 September 2012

website – www.ukzn.ac.za

University of Johannesburg

tel: 011 559 2911

closing date for applying: 28 September 2012

website – www.uj.ac.za

University of Witwatersrand

tel: 011 717 1030

closing date for applying:

Speech & Hearing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Architecture: 30 June 2012

all other programmes: 31 August 2012

website: www.wits.ac.za

University of Stellenbosch

tel: 021 808 9111

closing date for applying:

Health Sciences: 31 may 2012

all other programmes: 30 June 2012

website- www.sun.ac.za


University of Fort Hare

tel (Alice campus): 040 602 2016

tel (East London campus): 043 7047155

closing date for applying: 30 September 2012

website: www.ufh.ac.za

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

tel: 041 504 1111

closing date for applying: 01 August 2012

website: www.nmmu.ac.za