1. What is a matriculation exemption?
A matriculation exemption is a legal requirement for first-degree study at a South African university.

  •  Students who did not pass Senior Certificate with endorsement are required by law to apply for a matriculation exemption through the Matriculation Board.
  • Foreign students wishing to register for first-degree studies in South Africa must have their school qualifications evaluated by the Matriculation Board that will then issue a certificate of exemption to those who qualify.

A certificate of exemption is issued on application to prospective students who have obtained a Senior Certificate without endorsement or equivalent foreign school-leaving qualification, who meets the requirements of the published regulations and wishes to pursue first degree studies at a South African university.

2. How do I apply for an exemption certificate?
You need to get hold of the M30e form which is obtainable from:

a)  Admissions Offices of universities or
b)  Download it from the Matriculation Board website or
c)  Request it via e-mail addressed to: Exemption2@universitiessa.ac.za
d)  Request that the form be faxed to you.

3. What types of exemption certificates can I obtain?
There are various types of exemption certificates issued depending on the qualifications of the applicant e.g. complete exemption certificates and conditional exemption certificates.

a) Complete exemption certificates are:

  • certificates that do not have expiry dates but take effect on a date that is dependent on the qualification on the basis of which it is awarded.  A detailed explanation of the different types of exemption certificates can be found on this web page of the website.

b) Conditional exemption certificates  are:

  • Mature age which is offered to 23 year old students and lasts for full-time duration of study plus two years,
  • Foreign conditional which lasts for full-time duration of study plus two years and
  • Ordinary conditional which lasts for a year, and have to be renewed on yearly basis until the student meets the requirements of the exemption.
  • Senate’s discretionary exemption, which is granted once the student, has completed a recognized Access course or a Foundation programme and it lasts for three years.

 4. If I change university will my exemption certificate remain valid?
The exemption certificate types vary from one to another, thus the validation period also varies and is indicated on the certificate. If you change from one university to another, you need to send an application to the Board so that your exemption certificate can be transferred to the receiving university where you wish to be registered. However, if you qualified for Senate’s Discretionary exemption you need to find out from the receiving university whether they are prepared to accept you with that kind of exemption.  Exemptions are issued to a university where you have been registered. You can apply to as many universities as you like but you can only register at ONE university for an academic year.

5. How long does it take to process an application?
Due to high volume of inquiries that this office receive, it takes the Matriculation Board 3-5 working days to process the faxed inquiries, whereby if the applicant qualifies for exemption a provisional letter is issued which is sufficient to facilitate admission to South African public university subject to the applicant meeting the institutional requirements. Furthermore, it takes approximately the same time to process an application form. The actual exemption certificate is issued in approximately 6 weeks after receipt of all relevant and correctly certified documents as well as the requisite payment.

6. If I’m not sure whether I’ll qualify for exemption or not, what do I do?
You need to fax a copy of your school results either:

Senior Certificate/results,
O and A levels,
IGCSE and HIGCSE results,
KCSE, WAEC or NECO etc. and

A copy of your identity document or pass port or birth certificate reflecting full names and date of birth for the attention:
The Director, Matriculation Board at these fax numbers: 086 677 7744 or e-mailed to fax@universitiessa.ac.za
Remember to write your fax number. Please allow 5 working days for a response to be faxed/e-mailed back to you.
Please note that this will just be a provisional letter not the actual certificate of exemption.

7. How much do I pay for an exemption certificate?
The standard application fee is R450.00 (non – refundable) as from 1 January 2016.

8. Where do I make payments?
The money can be deposited into the following bank account:

Bank                    : ABSA
Account name       : Matriculation Board
Account number    : 4059036917
Branch                 : Sunnyside Branch
Code                    : 630345
Swift code            : ABSA ZA JJ

Please Note: When completing the bank deposit slip make sure that your surname and initials are clearly indicated in the reference column and fax proof of payment to Matriculation Board at: 086 677 7744 or 086 686 1720

9. I wrote Joint Matriculation Board Examinations before 1992 and my certificate is lost. What can I do to obtain a duplicate?
You need to send us the following details:

  • Surname and full names that appear on your certificate;
  • Name of school where you sat for JMB examinations;
  • Year of examinations;
  • The area where the school is or was situated;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your fax and telephone numbers.

Once the above information has been verified, the Matriculation Board will then issue a duplicate copy of your Senior Certificate.
Please Note: The Matriculation Board keeps the records of the then Joint Matriculation Board Examinations up to 1992.
If you wrote any other examination contact the national Department of Education at one of these numbers: 012 303 3500 or 012 312 5843 or 012 312 5846.