Lying in Your CV and Social Media Could Land You in Jail in South Africa


If you are applying for a job or jobs in South Africa, then you should cross-check your resume to ensure every single detail is factual, lest you end up being jailed.

Submitting dishonest qualifications and lying in your resume is now a crime that could land you behind bars following new rules signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Getting a job in South Africa has become really hard prompting people to lie in their resumes to increase the chances of being picked in the few available job opportunities. Lying about one’s skills, job titles, responsibilities, a period of employment and reason for leaving a job are the most common resume lies.

Faking or misrepresenting qualifications has been a growing trend in South Africa. The issue was first highlighted in 2014 when many high profile personalities were accused of lying about their academic qualifications.

Numerous studies including HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report have shown many people lie in their CVs. The HireRight’s report indicated that 85 percent of employers caught applicants lying on their resumes or applications.

But following the new rule signed into law, job seekers who lie about their qualifications will face up to five years in prison.

Joe Samuels, the CEO SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa) revealed that the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act was signed into law last Tuesday.

Other than jail sentences, people found guilty will also part with unspecified fines. Institutions caught issuing fraudulent qualifications will also be penalised.

”A person, an education institution or skills development provider is guilty of an offence if a person, the education institution or skills development provider claims to be offering a qualification or part qualification registered on the NQF whereas that qualification or part-qualification is not so registered,” reads the statute.

The act was designed to ensure the integrity of the institutions that grant degrees are preserved.

Also lying on your social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, is now punishable by law. “Your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook accounts, they could all be seen as a way for an employer to verify your qualifications,” she said. “In the bigger context of social media, you are misleading people. You may be offered a job under false pretences,” Shirley Lloyd, recently retired head of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) directorate said.

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