About Internship and Community Service (ICSP)

In 1998 a community service policy was implemented that required health professionals to complete 12 months community service / 24 months Internship through remunerative work in the public sector. The purpose of the policy was to achieve better distribution of human resources for health to under-serviced areas and thereby improve equitable access to primary health care services.

In accordance with the National Department of Health’s (NDoH) Annual Performance Plan (APP), all eligible South African graduates from South African Universities must apply to be allocated for internship and community service each year within available resources.

  • There are two (2) programme types namely:
    Internship – Medical graduates (Doctors) need to complete a two (2) year internship programme prior to registration as a community service medical practitioner, as provided for in Section 61 of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974 and associated regulations relating to the registration and training of interns in medicine.
  • Community Service – Legislation prescribe that health professional graduates who wish to register for independent practice, need to complete one year of remunerated community service at health establishments as approved by the Minister of Health in the Government Gazette.
    • The following field of study is applicable for Community Service:
      Audiologist, Clinical Psychologist, Dentist, Diagnostic Radiographer, Diagnostic Sonographer, Dietician, Environmental Health Practitioner, Medical Practitioner, Nuclear Medicine, Radiographer, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist, Professional Nurse, Radiotherapy, Speech and Audiology Therapist and Speech Therapist.

2024 Annual Cycle Information




NB. The Department urges allocated applicants to take up their allocated position to avoid delays in starting of medical internship and community service.
  SOP title: Appeal against an allocated Post for the January 2024 Annual Cycle.

Process date

Appeal period: 19 December to 29 December 2023
Screening period: 19 December 2023 – 3 January 2024
Committee date: 4 – 5 January 2023
Outcome date: 8 January 2023
Principal Owner: National Department of Health Participants: Eligible Applicants who applied for the January 2024 Annual Cycle and;
  1. Were allocated outside their 5 preferred choices.
  2. Could not swop.
  3. Had an approved special consideration.
  4. Who cannot assume duty in their allocated posts.

Process Management: National Departments of Health


Appeals to be entertained are of applicants who are eligible for placement during the January 2024 annual cycle but could not be placed in 5 choices (i.e. their preferred facilities to render health services in the Public Health Service) and/or not in one of their provinces and/or have a special consideration and could not complete a successful swop.

Process to complete an Appeal on the ICSP Online system.

An appeals period will be permitted in the 2023/24 Annual cycle during the period 19 December to 22 December 2023. The appeals period follows the swop/exchanges process, which is the most preferred mechanism to solve applicants’ dissatisfactions. Thus, an appeal is considered as a last resort to assist applicants.

The following principles apply:

  1. Reallocation in terms of appeals, must comply with the principle of equitable distribution of community service professionals in support of rural health services as stated in the National Human Resources for Health Strategy.
  2. Appeals should not negatively impact upon service delivery for the community.
  3. Appeals must therefore drive toward distribution to promote servicing of rural and marginalized communities.

The following applications WILL NOT be considered for appeals:

  1. Applicants allocated in any of their five (5) choices WILL NOT qualify for review (unless if the appeal meets requirements in the Section of cases that will be considered below).
  2. Applicants citing personal considerations which were not lodged during the initial application process WILL NOT qualify for review.
  3. Applicants who cannot demonstrate that they attempted to swop/exchange WILL NOT qualify for review.

Appeals that WILL be considered for review:

  1. Provincial bursary holders who have not been allocated in their provinces.
  2. Health related considerations that preclude assumption of duty at allocated facilities (not deferring any starting dates)
  3. Parents who have minor children already in established educational facilities (either married or partnered) and whose allocation would result in a undesired negative impact on of the family unit.
  4. Couples who are either engaged, married or live-in partners and their placement would result in extended periods of separation.
  5. Social compact applications that were not addressed.

Submitting an appeal for review

  1. Appeal of a placement will be accepted until the close of the applications process.
  2. Only appeals that was submitted through the appeals application link (Above) will be considered.
  3. Appeals need to be lodged on an individual basis.
  4. No appeals submitted by a third party will be taken into consideration.
  5. The appeal must include a brief and concise motivation for the appeal.

Review of an appeal

When an appeal is received by NDoH – Appeal will be screened to confirm the validation and eligibility of the application. (If an appeal is not valid upon screening, the applicant will be notified that appeal will not be considered)
  1. The cases will be dealt with as they are being received by NDoH.
  2. Where a decision could be made during the screening process such outcomes will be communicated to the applicant immediately.
  3. The impact of service delivery on the vacated post will be considered as a determining factor during the appeals review process.

Communication of the outcomes of an appeal

  1. Outcomes of Appeals including the screening will be communicated to applicants from the 21 December 2023.
  2. Applicants will be informed by means of a SMS’s if an appeal have been approved.
  3. Applicants will also receive an email with the new allocation letter after provincial department have been informed.

Contact details

  • Every provincial department have a specific coordinator to assist with Internship and Community Services specifically.
  • Below is a link to view / download the contact details of all 9 provincial departments, South African Military Health Services (SAMHS) and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) coordinators.
  • No applicants are allowed to walk in at the National Department of Health, only by appointments will be acceptable.
  • Applicants can also send an email to for any enquiries regarding allocations or other matters related to Internship and Community Services.
  •  ICSP Help desk – (012) 346 0700
  •  Lavani Maluleke – (012) 395 8685
  •  Happy Mathebula – (012) 395 8134
  •  Maria Sebyeng – (012) 395 8916
Provincial Coordinator Contact List