No qualifications crisis in SA: SAQA

South Africa does not have a fake qualifications crisis; this is according to the CEO of South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Joe Samuels.

Samuels explained that according to the number of qualification verifications they conduct annually, he would not say the country is facing a crisis.

“We have already done something like 12 000 qualifications verifications [in 2014] and out of that, we found that 66 qualifications were fraudulent. That represents roughly 0.6% of what comes to us,” explained Samuels.

This comes after a growing concern at fraudulent qualifications in the country following the resignation of ANC MP Pallo Jordan after it was revealed that his PhD qualification was a fake.

Samuels stated that although the country was not facing a ‘qualification crisis’ the number of companies who are not verifying the authenticity of their employees’ degrees was worrying.

“Misrepresentation is fraud, and where we become aware of it, we tell the employers but we also inform the police about it” he said.

“The key crisis, I think that we are facing, is that not enough companies are checking the qualifications that people present to them,” he said.

However Samuel added that in companies where employees know that SAQA will be used to verify qualifications, people do not normally misrepresent.

“In the case of parliament, MP’s do not have a specific qualification that will qualify them for the work that they do, so in that particular case it is up to the individual not to misrepresent their qualification,” explained Samuels.

According to Samuels, SAQA have all the qualifications information from 1992 onwards but information prior to 1992 is a bit difficult to track down.