In many cases, applications for funding must be submitted via the University or with their approval. For NRF, the published deadlines are usually the date by which they must be submitted online in the NRF submission system, at which point they are reviewed by the University automatically. For other applications submitted via the University, they must usually be submitted internally 2-3 weeks prior to any published deadline. Your proposed supervisor will know how and where to arrange for the application to be submitted to the unversity.
Here are some examples of funding schemes to which interested students and postdoctoral fellows may wish to consider applying:
Postgraduate student bursaries
Please check the webpage of the UCT Postgraduate Funding Office to see a list of bursary schemes currently accepting applications.
National Research Foundation -- Check often for current calls. Deadlines are often in August each year. Many (but not all) calls for MSc and PhD bursaries are restricted to South African citizens and permanent residents.
Poliomyelitis Research Foundation -- potential for top-up funding for MSc, PhD and postdoctoral students studying a topic related to virology or a pathogenic virus. Please be sure to file reports by February the following year before applying for any renewal. Incoming students normally apply for the October deadline. Applications must be submitted via the University. The UCT internal deadline is usually at least two weeks prior to the deadline on the PRF web page.
Graça Machel Scholarships -- Women who are citizens of and normally resident in a SADC country and have a first degree (minimum second class upper division) or who are about to graduate are eligible to apply. The scholarships provide funding for Honours, Masters or PhD study at a South African University. Deadline is usually once a year in early August.
Postdoctoral Fellowship funding
Claude Leon Foundation -- Claude Leon postdoctoral fellowships are for postdoctoral fellows studying in South Africa. Applicants must submit an application via their institution. The deadline is usually May 31st each year; but, the application must usually be submitted to UCT 2-3 weeks prior to this deadline.
AXA Foundation -- Candidates are generally eligible within the first three years after completing their PhD, and must be nominated by their host institute. For candidates from South Africa, past, present or planned international mobility is required, presumably meaning that you must show that you have recently moved internationally, are doing so for the fellowship or will do so as part of your future career. Institutions (UCT in this case) must submit a nomination by one of the two annual deadlines. For 2017, these deadlines are Nov 3, 2016 and May 30, 2017.