By Tom Head for The South African
The National Qualifications Amendment Bill is not here to play, ladies and gentlemen. The adjustment to the existing legislation comes with some pretty stern updates, which aims to clamp-down on dishonesty from applicants who embellish the truth on a CV.
The South African Qualifications Association (SAQA) will be charged with monitoring the registered qualifications of each citizen in South Africa. That’s quite the task for such a modest regulatory body, but the ANC has voted the move through in Parliament.
What is the National Qualifications Amendment Bill?
Cyril Ramaphosa now has the final say on what happens next – it’ll be his decision on whether the government should plough ahead with the proposals should they remain in power after Wednesday 8 May.
The bill isn’t likely to impact working-to-middle class workers too much, but it will serve as a deterrent to citizens applying for high-profile jobs. Executives, CEOs and even our politicians will be subject to rigorous background checks. If they are found to be lying about their educational history, stiff penalties await:
“Any person convicted of an offence in terms of this act is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a term of no longer than five years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.”
“Any person, educational institution, board member or director may be ordered to close its business and be declared unfit to register a new business for a period not exceeding 10 years.”
Lying on your CV could soon be a serious legal issue
The punishment is not retroactive – so if your name is Jacob Zuma or Hlaudi Motsoeneng, you can breathe a sigh of relief. But if Ramaphosa decides to give this the green light, you may well have told your last porkie on a resume.
As IOL report, 97 national qualifications and 95 foreign qualifications were misrepresented between last October and November. That increased the total number of fraudulent applications up to 1 564 over the past 10 years.
The bill also aims to publish a “name and shame” list for those who try and push their luck just a little too far. So, if your CV is looking a little bare at the moment, try and think outside of the box – and not outside of reality.