The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Buti Manamela visited the Central Application Clearing House (CACH) Call Centre in Randburg to familiarise himself with public response to the service within the first 18 days of the 2019 operation.
The visit to the Call Centre, formed part of the wider registration monitoring process the Deputy Minister had been conducting nationally at institutions of higher learning.
It also gave the Deputy Minister the opportunity to interact with the call centre agents, giving him first-hand experience of the daily operations of the call centre. CACH opened on 4 January for the 2019 academic year and was in full operation until 28 February 2019.
It is particularly useful for applicants or individuals who applied for admission to a university or college, but who had not been offered a place in their study programme of choice.
Briefing the Deputy Minister on the overall performance and usage of the CACH communication channels by applicants, Mr Matthews Makgopela, CACH Project Manager in the Department of Higher Education and Training, informed the Deputy Minister, that by the third week of January, 26,145 applicants had used the Short Message Service (SMS) to access the service. A further 11,941 used the telephone service, while 4 671 used the Voice Mail service. Another 8,846 applicants used email to get access to the service. In the first two weeks of CACH 2019 campaign, the service already had a total of approximately 52,000 enquiries.
Of the 52,000 enquiries, a total of 32,716 applications were signed up by CACH. No fewer than 18,216 applicants were captured during the first week while a further 12,500 were captured between 12 and 22 January 2019. Of those registered during the first week, 11,116 registered themselves online while 7,100 called in and were registered by the call centre agents. Of the 12,500 applicants who were registered in the second week, 3,700 registered themselves online, while 8,800 called in and were captured by the call centre agents.
Mr Makgopela indicated that the 2019 statistics had so far shown a significant increase in the usage of CACH when compared to last year. For the entire period of the 2018 CACH campaign, a total of 34,000 applicants were registered on the CACH system. In the 2019 campaign, 32,716 were already registered within the first two weeks of the campaign, indicating the likelihood of far surpassing the 2018 performance by the end of the window, which closed on the 28 of February.