Drawing on social closure theory, this study achieved a deep understanding of the perceptions and
experiences of the first cohort of candidates passing through the Thuthuka support programme.
Using semi-structured interviews as part of a qualitative approach, currently prevalent modes of
professional closure were considered by taking the backgrounds of these students into account,
together with their perceptions of the accounting profession. Their views on whether the Thuthuka
programme as an intervention had been successful in removing post-apartheid professional closure
were determined by taking into account the Thuthuka students’ readiness to sit for professional
examinations and to enter the workplace. The findings of the study suggest features that could be
considered in support programmes intended for socio-economically disadvantaged students to
facilitate their entry into a restrictive and restricted market.