Finally after 4 months of weekly evening classes where we delved deep into technical electronics and RF theory including how RF filters work, radio interference, antenna performance, safety, RF propagation, amplifiers, legal regulations and band plans I wrote the exam this last Saturday and the results came out today as a pass and my callsign was issued. The actual certificate from ICASA may take a bit longer as their printing is not immediate. This certificate is needed to register on digital services such as Echolink and DMR services.
Something we do in South Africa which is not done everywhere is the need to obtain an HF assessment certificate. So we had to demonstrate setting up a radio and antenna, checking SWR and making 5 different on-air contacts on the HF bands (shortwave between 3 Mhz to 30 MHz). The real highlight for me was making contact with a station in the Northen Cape about 800km North of Cape Town just using radio. Next, I suppose I need to aim for bouncing signals off the moon and chatting directly to an astronaut at the International Space Station!