The system usually remains open for three months, but will now only run for one month due to the coronavirus pandemic, MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.
Activity in the country ground to a halt towards the end of March, as the government instituted a nationwide lockdown.
Lesufi said the department was already receiving inquiries, making the decision to limit the application period to one month rather difficult. He added he would announce further details closer to the opening date.
Applications will close on 25 July.
“But we are making it for a month, purely because we are in the middle of a lockdown and it was very difficult to open for online registration,” he said.
Last year’s online application process was delayed and postponed after the department had to resolve concerns raised by the Federation of Governing Bodies of South Africa, the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie and other school governing body associations.
The department previously conducted the application process in three phases – registration and application first, followed by the placement of pupils, and finally admission to a school.
During phase 1, parents could apply to a maximum of five schools, using any of the five application options, by 22 July, 2019. Phase 2 ran from 31 August to 30 September, where parents received offers of placement from schools based on admissions criteria and availability of space and resources.
The department has urged parents to be ready to apply once the application process gets under way.