Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the placement of medical students starts even before they write exams.
He says they received 1 499 applications and the majority were placed in various health institutions across the country, 22 declined.
Motsoaledi says they are about 89 foreign nationals who still need to be placed.
Health Ministers in the SADAC region have written to Motsoaledi requesting him not to place foreign students but send them back home because their countries need them.
The reasons they are stating are marriage, religion, property, family commitments... we are not able to find everlasting answers to most issues people raise.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
When students make their choices they choose mostly four cities, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
We have given them till 25 of January and if they are not taking those places we give them to foreign nationals. We still have 45 spaces that have not been taken.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
To hear more from the Health Minister, please listen below: