What is matric exemption?

A Matric Exemption is the minimum requirement for a Bachelor's Degree at any South African University.  In terms of the Higher Education Act, anyone who wishes to study a Degree at any University has to have Matric Exemption pass.
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What options are there if I don’t have a Matric Exemption?

Although a Matric Exemption pass will allow you to study at University, if you haven’t achieved this, it is by no means the end of the road; there are many other options available to you:
  1. Consider going straight into the job market, using sources such as: Student Village or TolaJOB that look to employ and train learners who have a Matric but no experience.
  2. Or the opportunity to improve your employability and personal development, such as short courses – take a look at Get Smarter for some ideas.
  3. TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Colleges are also a very good place to start, there are 50 institutions offering a great variety of certificate and diploma courses with trade specific training, the various programmes integrate theory and practice, to provide students with a broad range of knowledge and practical skills within specific industry, trade or field.
  4. An apprenticeship, which is a paid job, an employer will provide on-the-job-training to teach you a specific skill, needed for a particular occupation or trade.
  5. Bridging course or matric rewrite programme, an opportunity to improve your grade 12 marks.
  6. A gap year will equip you with life experiences, growth, self-discovery, self-reliance, confidence and independence as well as the opportunity to develop resilience and tolerance.
  7. South Africa needs entrepreneurs as their success generates jobs and no matter how small the business might be, hard work and a determination to succeed has created many large and successful businesses which have in turn played a key role in developing the country’s economy.  Going into your own business takes courage, grit, financial resources and most importantly a good and unique idea, backed up with a comprehensive business plan. 
Matriculating without university entrance certainly doesn’t close doors to careers, although you might have to work a bit harder at your career, there is nothing wrong with a bit of hard work.
Good luck, stay focussed and be sure to research just what career you are best suited to.
If you don't have matric exemption, read this article about what to do now.