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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

Here’s how much registration fees will cost this year at some of SA’s major universities

These increases follow guidelines set by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Most of SA’s major universities are open for registration next week, with students concerned about price increases in tuition, registration and accommodation fees.

With tuition and accommodation fees rising by 5.1% and 7.1% respectively, education is becoming harder to afford.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for registration at some of the country’s universities:


The University of Johannesburg has increased its registration fee from R3 870 in 2023 to R5 560, and from R6 470 to R9 270 for residence students.


The registration fee at the University of Witswatersrand remains at R9 340 this year, and R10 000 for residence students.


The University of KwaZulu-Natal increased its fee from R4 350 to R4 600, and from R3 380 to R3 600 for residence students.


Registration at the University of Pretoria increased from R7 500 last year to R10 000 in 2024.


North West University increased their registration fee from R11 280 to R11 810, and from R21 070 to R21 870 for residence students.


The University of the Free State (UFS) does not have a registration fee. Instead, students pay first payments towards tuition from R15 770 to R16 700 and R8 360 to R8 770, for residence and non-residence students respectively.


Like UFS, the University of Cape Town does not have a registration fee. The initial cost for tuition and residence respectively remain at R31 000 and R39 000.

These increases follow guidelines set by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Nsfas on fees

These increases will result in increased financial burdens for students and their families. Issues with the National Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) have left some students needing to pay for their own registration, while waiting on the scheme.

Last year the Nsfas announced a cap of R45 000 on accommodation fees.

“Nsfas introduced this cap to manage the unjustified exorbitant costs of accommodation, which seem to be based on price collusion,” said the scheme.

However, 11 of 26 South African universities were negatively affected by this cap, leaving some students without accommodation.

“The difference between the actual amount and the capped amount will lead to outstanding amounts on student accounts, which may not be recovered,” UP said.

ALSO READ: Here’s when NSFAS is ‘determined’ to pay those thousands of outstanding 2023 allowances

Furthermore, Nsfas is cutting 10% of student beneficiaries, amounting to about 87 000 students.

This decrease in financial aid will limit access to education for needy students and could also lead to another #FeesMustFall movement.

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