South Africa intend to confirm Heyneke Meyer's successor as head coach next month.
The 48-year-old stood down from his role in December having previously said he would like to stay following a third-placed finish at the Rugby World Cup.
Criticism of the Springboks style of play led Meyer to change his mind and leave his post and the appointment of a new coach is set to be confirmed ahead of the June Test series with Ireland.
South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins revealed a preferred candidate has been identified and the governing body hopes to announce his appointment after the SARU's annual general meeting on April 1.
"The High Performance committee examined a list of potential coaches and identified their preferred candidate against a set of pre-determined criteria," Hoskins said.
"In broad terms we were looking for someone with a proven track record at an elite level; someone who would embrace the objectives of our Strategic Transformation Plan and someone who would understand the public demands of the job and what that entails.
"The Executive Council accepted the High Performance committee's recommendation some time ago and the preferred candidate's name will now be set before the General Council."