According to the newly enforced National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act, anyone who lies about holding a tertiary education on their CV or social media platforms could face up to five years in jail.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law tough new rules criminalising the submission of fraudulent qualifications or misrepresentation of education credentials.
Job seekers and prospective students who submit fraudulent qualifications or misrepresent them will now face up to five years in prison in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act 2019.
SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa) chief executive Joe Samuels told Independent Media on Tuesday that Ramaphosa signed the Act into law last Tuesday. The new law was published in the Government Gazette on Monday.
According to Samuels, Saqa, which is responsible for advancing the NQF objectives, will study the Act and look very seriously parts that can be implemented immediately and do preparatory work for other aspects of the new law.
Five-year sentences, unspecified fines or both will be handed to people found guilty of making false entries in the national learners’ records database or are party to the falsification, dissemination or publication of a qualification or part-qualification of any person. Owners of bogus education institutions will also face jail time for awarding fraudulent qualifications.
Jail time also looms for those who falsely or fraudulently claim to be holding qualifications or part-qualifications registered on the NQF or awarded by an education institution, skills development provider, quality council or obtained from a lawfully recognised foreign institution.
More specifically, the Act seeks to make provision to punish anyone who “falsely or fraudulently claims to be holding a qualification or part-qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework or awarded by an education institution, skills development provider, QC or obtained from a lawfully recognised foreign institution.”
The Act is expected to come into effect on a date determined by Ramaphosa by proclamation in the Gazette and its provisions may have different commencement dates.