Analysis: How Many Hoops Must African Students Jump Through To Study In South Africa?

Analysis: How Many Hoops Must African Students Jump Through To Study In South Africa?

By Dana Da Silva | From The Daily Vox

I am a Mozambican who has been living and studying in South Africa for many years. I completed part of primary school and high school here, as well as obtaining a degree at Wits University.

For those of us who come from another country, getting accepted into these institutions isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Coming from a SADC (Southern African Development Community) country, or from anywhere else in the world, you need a study permit to be in SA. Applying for this permit is one of the most stressful processes you will ever go through as it requires mountains of documents and the patience to stand in lines for hours.

By the way, this is how Home Affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba, responded to someone on Twitter when they asked about study permits for international students. Awkward.

Sibongile Mafu on Twitter   https   t.co wJmoO6JGZw

Among the documents that you need for your application for a study permit is a letter of acceptance from your academic institution or university. These letters are only issued at the end of the year, which is problematic as some of the other documents such as police clearance certificates can take weeks or even months to get. This process generally takes about 4-6 weeks, so if you received a letter of acceptance in November, even if you apply immediately for police clearance, you can only apply for a study permit in January… and classes begin at the start of February.

If you have studied in South Africa for more than 12 months (I’ve studied here for over 12 years), you need a police clearance certificate. There is only one office that processes police clearances in the whole of SA, and it is in Pretoria. If you’re lucky enough to be close to Pretoria, and you have a car, you can drive there to submit your application. If not, then you have to take your chances with the Post Office or a courier.

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