Saqa aims to name and shame

THE South African Qualification Authority (Saqa) has proposed a draft policy that seeks to curb fraudulent qualifications. Picture Getty Images

The South African Qualification Authority (Saqa) has proposed a draft policy that seeks to curb fraudulent qualifications.

Saqa CEO Joe Samuels said that if passed into law, the proposed bill would allow the organisation to name and shame individuals with fake qualifications.

The development comes at a time when the provincial government instituted a qualifications audit in the public service as there were rumours that some senior officials had bogus or no qualifications at all.

Premier Supra Mahumapelo said it was imperative for the government to employ people suited and qualified for positions they hold.

“The draft policy was developed by Saqa. Our mandate is to advance the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as well as by the Department of Higher Education and Training and various quality verification councils,” Samuels said.

“We believe that public registers of individuals claiming false qualifications, as well as institutions offering these, should be established. Many people tend to be employed in positions they do not qualify for. Furthermore, public well being is put at stake by this.” Samuels said that often questions were raised over individuals’ competence to hold these positions.

“This affects good governance because the safety of ordinary citizens and employees is at stake. The sustainability and viability of companies and public service delivery rests in these fraudsters’ hands. We will work with law enforcement authorities to create greater public awareness around misrepresented qualifications.”

Samuels said the draft national policy is now available for public comment for the next 30 days in the Government Gazette. He said the document outlined the creation of these registers, defining what is meant by misrepresented qualifications.

“It also outlines the process for how they will be dealt with and detailing the various roles and responsibilities expected. All parties involved will be informed about any investigations initiated. They will also be informed about any actions taken against them.

“They will also be given a platform to appeal the findings and present their cases if possible. Ultimately, only those found legally culpable of qualification fraud would be included on registers.” Samuels said the register would contain the names and details of individuals and providers who had been found by a court of law to be holding or issuing at least one fraudulent qualification.

“The Register of Misrepresented Qualifications and Providers operating outside of the SA NQF will list individuals who have misrepresented a qualification, as well as a list of providers who have not adhered to the SANQF.

“Similarly, this will only be made up of cases where the conviction was obtained through court action. “Once it comes into effect, the NQF Amendment Bill proposes that the register will be published for the public periodically.”