The briefing will be the second this week following the one the MEC held on Tuesday in Johannesburg. The MEC apologised to Gauteng residents and South Africans at large for the slight delay in the Online Learner Application website.
“The delay was caused by technical difficulties with GPS coordinates that were generating wrong school data. This would have meant that people in informal settlements could not locate their schools,” he said.
He said the system had to be shut down, re-programmed and tested.
“The process took longer than anticipated, hence the delay in going online,” he said.
The website went live at 14:30 on Tuesday. During the first second of going live, the system experienced over 18 000 logins and within the first 10 minutes, the system had successfully processed over 5 000 applicants.
Thirteen attempts to hack the system were successfully foiled.
“We currently anticipate the system to handle a large quantity of traffic, as capacity has been increased to 20 000 logins per second... We would like to remind parents/guardians that the application period is open from 19 April 2016 until 1 June 2016,” said MEC Lesufi.
He reiterated that the placement of learners will commence from 24 June until 25 July 2016. Schools will process learner placement online during the placement period.
“Parents will receive an automated SMS indicating offer of placement. Letters will also be sent to parents informing them of successful and unsuccessful applications. Parents will be given a period of seven days to accept or reject placement offers,” he said.
The department has extended its call centre working hours to 8pm to help parents who experience challenges with applying online. Parents are advised to call 011 355 000 or the toll free number 0800 000 789.
The MEC said parents who have no access to the internet can go to schools to be assisted by technicians to register and apply online. They can also get assistance at help desks in education district offices; Vodacom/GDE teacher centres; Thusong Service Centres and community libraries; and Connect through free Wi-fi hot spots.