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.
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.
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.