SAQA Develops Qualification Fraud Register

Pretoria – The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has developed a national fraud register, which lists individuals who have committed qualifications fraud.

Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande asked SAQA to develop the register last year.

The Department of Higher Education and Training said the register is already in operation at SAQA and it contains information on confirmed forgeries, a list of misrepresented and invalid qualifications.

However, department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said the register cannot be made public as there are some legal matters that need to be attended to.

“A person can only be regarded as having committed fraud if that person is convicted in a court of law for fraud,” Nkwanyana said.

Meanwhile, Minister Nzimande has requested SAQA to advise him on strengthening the policy and legislation.

The Minister has also directed his department to open a discussion with the National Prosecutions Authority to prosecute persons suspected of forged and misrepresented qualifications.

“SAQA is currently maintaining the register internally and will be the responsible entity for making the national register of the list of forgeries, misrepresented and invalid qualifications available once the policy, legal and collaborative processes have been finalised,” Nkwanyana said.

In any given month, SAQA receives between 2 000 to 10 000 applications nationally for verification.

At this stage, SAQA is not able to provide the current number of cases of misrepresentation of qualifications or invalid qualifications that are investigated in provincial categories.

However, their findings over the past four years show that 98.8% of the applications are found to be valid and 1.2% are found to be either a misrepresentation of qualifications or invalid qualifications.