The South African Rugby Union have revealed that they have agreed on a "a number of options" with their Super Rugby teams that will solve the problem of having six teams with only five places.
SARU said in a statement on Monday that they had a "positive meeting" - the second meeting with its franchises in four days - the possible solutions will now be considered by its executive committee.
A final decision on how South Africa structures its Super 15 Rugby teams from next season will be made by SARU's General Council in July, the national body said.
However while SARU said that they had agreed on a number of options they did not reveal what the options were.
SARU is scrambling to avoid having to sacrifice one of its current Super 15 outfits after it promised the new Southern Kings a place in 2013, only for organizer SANZAR to refuse to expand the tournament.
Options available to SARU are to relegate the lowest-placed South African team, currently the Johannesburg-based Lions, or get two teams to merge, with the Kings guaranteed their place next year.
The Lions and the Cheetahs, who are from the central city of Bloemfontein, are the likeliest candidates for a merger.
The two joined up before when they competed as the Cats in Super rugby between 1998 and 2006.
SARU's General Council will make its decision with a vote. The General Council is made up of two representatives from each of South Africa's 14 rugby provinces - each of whom has one vote.
The meeting chairman, SARU's president or deputy president, also has a vote.
A majority is required to pass decisions.