A Comprehensive Guide to the Central Application Clearing House (CACH) in South Africa

The Central Application Clearing House (CACH) provides a crucial service for South African matriculants seeking admission to Post School Institutions such as universities and TVET colleges. Since its inception in 2013, CACH has given thousands of students a second chance to secure placement, particularly those whose initial applications were unsuccessful but whose final Grade 12 results have improved. This guide will cover everything you need to know about CACH, from the sign-up process to the benefits and services it offers.

Understanding CACH: An Overview

What is CACH?
The Central Application Clearing House (CACH) is a centralized platform that aids in the application process for tertiary education in South Africa. It acts as a bridge between prospective students and educational institutions, facilitating university and college placements and offering career guidance.

Key Features of CACH

  • Placement Assistance: Helps students secure placements at universities, universities of technology, and TVET colleges.
  • Career Guidance: Provides career advice through the Khetha Career Development Service.
  • Referral Services: For students unsure of their study options, CACH offers referrals to career advice and information.
  • Free Service: Offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) at no cost to applicants and institutions.

The Sign-Up Process: How to Apply for CACH

1. Visiting the CACH Website

2. Sign-Up Procedure

  • The sign-up process is user-friendly and straightforward.
  • Provide essential information such as your ID/Passport or Examination number, name, surname, and date of birth.

3. No Initial Document Submission Required

  • At the sign-up stage, no additional documents need to be submitted.
  • Detailed verification of IDs and other necessary documents will be done once institutions start communicating with applicants.

4. Sign-Up Period and Key Dates

  • The CACH service typically opens in January and runs until the end of March each year. Exact dates may vary annually, so check the CACH website for the most current information.

Interaction with Institutions

1. Institution Offers

  • After signing up, institutions participating in CACH will access the database to search for suitable candidates.
  • Offers are made based on the criteria set by each institution. These offers are communicated to applicants via SMS or email.

2. Acceptance of Offers

  • Applicants receive notifications of offers and must accept or reject them on the CACH system.
  • Once an offer is accepted, the institution will contact the applicant directly to finalize the admission process.

Additional Services and Benefits

1. Career Guidance

  • CACH collaborates with the DHET’s Khetha Career Development Service to offer guidance for students unclear about their career paths.

2. Financial Assistance Opportunities

  • Some funders access the CACH database to identify students who meet specific criteria, potentially opening opportunities for scholarships or bursaries.

3. Learnerships

  • Organizations offering learnerships may also use CACH to find suitable candidates.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

  • The information collected by CACH is treated with high confidentiality and complies with the Protection of Personal Information Act of 2013.

Preparing for CACH

1. Ensure All Results Are Ready

  • Make sure your final Grade 12 results are available as these will be crucial for placement.

2. Gather Necessary Information

  • Keep your ID/Passport or Examination number and personal details handy for the sign-up process.

3. Stay Informed

  • Regularly check the CACH website and your communication channels for updates and offers from institutions.

Seizing Educational Opportunities with CACH

CACH serves as a vital tool for students seeking tertiary education opportunities. By facilitating the application and placement process, it ensures that every learner has an equal chance of gaining entry into higher education institutions.


As a centralized hub, CACH offers a streamlined and efficient process for matriculants to secure placements in post-school institutions. The user-friendly sign-up process, combined with the additional benefits such as career guidance and financial assistance opportunities, makes CACH an invaluable resource for South African students.

Prospective students are encouraged to take full advantage of this service when the sign-up period opens each year. Whether you’re from a remote area or an urban center, CACH helps make you visible to educational institutions, thus broadening your opportunities for higher education. Sign up, explore your options, and pave the way for your academic and professional journey with CACH.