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  • Writer's pictureLawtons Africa

National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act

Commentary the misrepresentation of experience on your CV

Head of Employment Law at Lawtons Africa in Johannesburg, Imraan Mahomed says that employers should particularly welcome the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act which contains important amendments, particularly section 32B which introduces offences and penalties relevant to fraudulent qualifications. Once the commencement date is proclaimed, the amendments will come into effect. Any person convicted of an offence in terms of the Act, will be liable, if they are found guilty, to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment. Mahomed says that the amendment is not yet in effect and the date of commencement is yet to be proclaimed.

Claiming to hold a tertiary qualification, lying on your CV or simply bragging about a qualification that you do not actually have on LinkedIn or Twitter is a crime in terms of the Act. This will have a huge impact on bogus institutions as well that offer qualifications that have not been accredited or registered in terms of the Act says employment law director Ms Jean Ewang at Lawtons Africa.

In terms of the amendments a person, education institution or skills provider is guilty of an offence if:

  • They make or cause to be made a false entry in the national learners’ records database and allow for a dissemination of such information;

  • They have a fraudulent purpose, have knowingly provided false or misleading information;

  • They claim to be offering a qualification registered on the NQF where that qualification is not registered;

  • They falsely claim to be holding a qualification or part-qualification;

  • They falsely claim to be registered and accredited as an education institution, skills development provider;

There is an area of the Act that is not catered for which Mahomed points to as a “gap”, if someone does not necessarily misrepresent their qualifications, but they advertise practical work experience which implies they are an expert in a particular field when they are not. This is not sanctioned by the Act. Mahomed is of the opinion that the Amendment falls short of regulating this practice which in his experience is also widespread especially online.

Another area of interest deals with the retrospective application of the Act, says Ewang. As the amendment will not apply prior to the day it comes into effect, Ewang suggests that institutions and people should perhaps have been given a six-month period to “come clean” after the date of the Amendment. Almost a period of amnesty.


Lawtons Africa is a South African law firm. With roots that grew out of seeds sown in down-town Johannesburg in 1892, our history features various changes and different names. Our team of lawyers, including directors, consultants, associates and candidate attorneys is highly qualified, market-recognised and skilled. For further information, visit

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