CAO Online Application

The Central Applications Office (CAO) is a non-profit organization that provides a centralized application service for public universities and colleges in South Africa. The CAO online application process is as follows:

Click here to start your CAO Online Application.

  • If you have already submitted an application form, please do not submit a duplicate application via the Internet.
  • The CAO will only accept one application form from you for a specific entry year and term.
  • Have your school and tertiary study details handy before you start.

Important dates

The CAO application period for the 2024 academic year is as follows:

  • First semester intake: 1 March to 31 August 2023
  • Second semester intake: 1 August to 30 September 2023

Late applications will be accepted, but may be subject to a late application fee.

Required documents

The following documents must be uploaded with your CAO application:

  • Certified copy of your identity document or passport
  • Certified copy of your senior school certificate or equivalent qualification
  • Academic transcripts for all previous tertiary studies (if applicable)
  • Any other supporting documents required by the institutions to which you are applying

How much is the CAO Application Fee in South Africa?

The CAO application fee is R250 for South African Citizens and R300 for international applicants providing it is submitted on time.

If the documents and forms reach the CAO after the deadline then a late fee apply, this is R470 for SA Citizens and R580 for international students.

You can pay the CAO application fee with one of the below methods: 

Payment optionWhere payment can be madePayment type accepted
EASYPAY                                                * Preferred payment option*Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, Woolworths or any store displaying the EasyPay sign.Cash, Debit or Credit Card
Paying online by Credit CardVisit Click on ‘My Application’, enter your CAO or ID number and follow the prompts.Credit Card Payment ONLY
Credit or Debit Card paymentAt the CAO Office. Gate 11, UKZN, Mary Thiphe Street, Cato Manor, DurbanCredit or Debit Card

How do I know if CAO have received my documents?

To get acknowledgment of receipt of your documents and application form from the CAO, you need to include a stamped-addressed postcard or envelope with your application mailing.

CAO will then return acknowledgment in this postcard/envelope on receipt. However, please note that the CAO is not able to check the correctness and completeness of the supporting documents, they will simply confirm to the student that they’ve been received.

How can I access my CAO documents?

CAO will scan in your documents electronically and they will then be made available to view online. You can see your online application on the ‘My Application’ section of the CAO website.

CAO Contact Details

Prospective students can contact the CAO directly, either online contact via social media / email. Or using the phone number below.

Twitter: @CAOKZN
Facebook: @CentralApplicationsOffice

CAO Address: Mary Thiphe Street (formerly corner of Francois and Cato Manor Roads), Cato Manor, Durban

CAO Contact Number: (031) 268 4444 or Share Call: 086 0860 CAO / 086 0860 226

Contact Hours: Monday – Friday 08:00 – 16:30

CAO Email address: