Learner Registration


The South Africa Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996, Chapter 2, section 3 makes provision for compulsory attendance for learners. Section 3 (1) mandates that “every parent must cause every learner (of school going age) for whom he/she is responsible to attend school from the first day until the last day of school year in which such a learner reaches the age of 15 years or ninth grade, whichever occurs first”. Thus the department has a constitutional mandate of ensuring that everyone’s right to basic education is responded to as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

Hence the North West Department of Education deems it significant that learner registration should be concluded before the commencement of 2022 academic year. This will enable schools to be ready, resourced and have informed plans that will allow smooth operations at the beginning of the year. Children may be registered at any public school nearer to their homes if space exists. Children residing near the school should be given first preference if applied within set timeframes. It should be noted that only the Head of Department will confirm and declare schools full to capacity.

This commitment serves to inform Departmental Officials, School Managements and Governing Bodies of early enrolment of learners for the year 2022 and it covers learners registering for the first time, learners changing schools and those starting their secondary schooling. All schools should have their admission policies that are consistent with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (No. 108 of 1996), the South African Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996 as amended and any applicable provincial law in place and correctly implemented to ensure that they serve the children’s requirement without any unfair discrimination. Schools are also encouraged to establish admission committees and develop admission management plans The School Governing Bodies are not allowed to administer any admission tests before admitting learners except in special cases where suitable placements are needed SASA 84 of 1996 as amended. section 5(2).

Departmental officials will be managing and monitoring learner admission process to ensure the availability of learner registration policies in all schools and the implementation thereof. Reports of all queries registered and admission statistics submitted by the schools should be collated by the districts’ Learner Admission Coordinators and forwarded to the director’s office on monthly basis according to the management plan. In addition to Provincial and District learner advocacy initiatives, all schools should plan their admissions advocacy, advertisements and registration information within the specified time frames. Schools should use all means of communication available to advocate and inform parents about learner registration for 2022.


1. Registration Timeframes: 01 June 2021-30 September 2021
Learner registration of all grades will commence on the 01 June 2021 and ends on the 30 September 2021. Admission of learners will be on first -come -first served basis for all learners who meet the admission requirements as set out in the South African School’s Act 84/1996, as amended and any other law of South Africa.
Parents must be given application forms at least by 30 June 2021 . Parents are encouraged to return completed application forms to schools earlier and not later than 31 July 2021. Schools are requested to give parents the outcome of their application forms not later than 30 September 2021.

2. Waiting Lists
Schools should compile waiting lists for all learners who are not placed, each application or registration should be given a number and parents should be duly informed about that. All applicants in the waiting lists should be treated fairly to avoid queries. Waiting lists of learners who are not placed by schools should be submitted to the Circuit Managers for alternative placements.

Lists of learners who are not placed by Sub -districts should be forwarded to District Directors for further placement as soon as there are learners identified to be not placed. Both the Sub -districts and Districts should collate information on disputes, waiting lists and unplaced learners on monthly basis starting from 01 October 2021 for those schools indicating that they are already full and forward it to province for DBE learner admission progress updates. Districts. through Circuit Managers should ensure placement of learners by 10 December 2021.

3. Age Requirements
The admission age of a learner in a public school as determined by Section 5(4) a) of the South African Schools Act 84/1996 is as follows:
Grade R: 4years turning 5by 30 June 2022;
Grade 1: 5years turning 6by 30 June 2022;
Other grades: a learner who is still under the age of 15 years of age must be placed in suitable grade and those above 16 years of age be advised to register at an ABET centre, this clause, about the age-grade norm does not apply 10 learners already enrolled at ordinary public school on 1 January [2000] except if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the learner; and
Learners with special needs: should be admitted where it is reasonably practical in ordinary public schools, special schools and full service schools.

4. Documents required for learner registrations
a. South African Learners

  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Immunization card
  • Last school academic report card
  • Transfer letter or card from previous school

b. Non -citizen learners

    • Learner’s study visa or work permits of parents for non-citizens from the Department of Home Affairs in addition to the documents stated above;
    • Temporary or permanent residence permit I proof of application by non-citizens to the Department of Home Affairs to legalise their stay in the country (The learners’ residence status in the republic should comply with immigration Act and Refugees Act of South Africa);
    • Learners with permanent residence permit issued in terms of immigration act must submit a birth certificate issued by the relevant authority from his or her country of origin;
    • Non-citizen learners should be admitted to public schools only if their residence status in the Republic complies with the Immigration Act and the Refugees Act;
    • In the case of a refugee, a learner may be admitted only if he or she produces an asylum seeker permit or a certificate granting refugee status or provides evidence that they have applied to the Department of Home Affairs to legalise their stay in the Country; and
    • Schools should not admit children of foreign nationals without proper residential documents. If a foreign national applies to a public school for admission of a child and submits an asylum seeker permit or a refugee status certificate on which the name of that particular child does not appear as a dependant of such adult. a school is not allowed to accept such permit or certificate. The same applies if the parental relationship with or guardianship of, the child cannot be easily established. In such cases, the adults should be referred to the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Social Development to obtain proper Documentation.

Undocumented children should be registered provisionally if required documents are not readily available and give parents a maximum of 12 months after registration to submit them. All admissions of learners must be recorded in the admission register or SASAMS system of the school after confirmation of all registered learners. The officials of the department must have access to the admission register or SASAMS information when necessary.

5. Administration of late applications
The department is in its endeavour to ensure that schools stop dealing with admission during school hours and has established Admission Task Teams and Registration Hubs to deal with late applications and registrations. This strategy in intended to address the challenge of learners who may apply for admission to schools at the beginning of 2022 academic year.
Any late registrations will be administered in January 2022 whereby Registration Hubs and Admission Task Teams will be based. All late admissions should be referred to sub -districts to direct applicants to identified schools that have spaces within proximity and relevant curriculum.

6. Appeals procedure
It is a national mandate to ensure that all learners of school going are admitted in schools and their right to education are protected. Parents and/or guardians experiencing difficulty in enrolling their children for 2022 may approach circuit or district offices for assistance.
Parents have a right to request reasons in writing for non-admission of a child and if not satisfied may lodge a written complaint with the districts and ultimately the office of the Superintendent -General. If still not satisfied, the parent may appeal against the decision to the Member of the Executive Council.


The Admission, Language and Religion Policies including Code of Conduct for learners determined by governing bodies should not be used as tools to discriminate certain learners. All learners must be admitted to the total school programme and may not be suspended from classes, denied access to cultural, sporting or social activities of the school, denied a school report or transfer certificates, or victimised on the following grounds:

  • Parents are unable to pay or has not paid the school fees determined by the school governing body under section 39 of the South African School Act
  • Parents not subscribing to the mission statement of the school
  • Parents have refused to enter into a contract in terms of which the parent waives any claim for damages arising out of the education of a learner
  • Language, culture, disability, race, religion and economic background
  • HIV status of a learner, disability, or pregnancy
  • COVID 19 Status

Given the outbreak of Corona Virus, SMTs and SGBs must ensure adherence to COVID 19 Regulations such as:
• Ensure Social Distancing
• Wearing of masks
• Screening and recording as per COVID 19 requirements at all entry points in all schools.

Learners who applied for home learning due to comorbidities and other reasons stated should not be disadvantaged on re-registering .

NGAKA MODIRI MOLEMA Mr D. NTLABATHI 0183881960 dntlabathi@nwpg.gov.za
DR KENNETH KAUNDA Mr B. MONALE 0182998299 bmonale@nwpg.gov.za
DR RS MOMPATI Ms M. DITHEJANE 0539280200 dithejanem@nwpg.gov.za
BOJANALA Ms M. PALEDI 0145904800 mpaledi@nwpg.gov.za

Circular 17 of 2021 – Learner Registration (PDF)

Learner Registration – Objectives of the Campaign (PDF)

Learner Registration – Departmental Responsibilities (PDF)

Learner Registration – Parental Responsibilities (PDF)

Learner Registration – Documents needed for admission (PDF)

Learner Registration – Contact Details (PDF)