The government is cracking down on officials with fake qualifications after Parliament passed a bill that will force the state to root out people with such qualifications.

The National Assembly agreed in the bill that those found with bogus qualifications will be named and shamed.

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor has also welcomed Parliament’s decision to approve the National Qualifications Framework Bill this week.

The bill was adopted by the majority of members and will now be referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.

MPs from across the political divide said this was a step in the right direction as there would be a central database for people with qualifications.

South Africa has recently seen a number of people caught up in qualification scandals.

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng was found by former public protector Thuli Madonsela to have lied about his credentials.

Motsoeneng was found to have no matric. The Special Investigating Unit is seeking to recover from him more than R21.7 million for irregular payments and bonuses.

Former ambassador to Japan Mohau Pheko was found to have lied about her qualifications.

It was discovered that she did not have a PhD degree as she had claimed.

Another ex-SABC board chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, was found to have no BCom degree and postgraduate diploma from Unisa.

This forced her to resign as the board chairperson in 2014.

Former cabinet minister and ANC national executive committee member Pallo Jordan was also caught out a few years ago, having lied about having a PhD.

It was found that Jordan had no academic qualifications. He left Parliament after the scandal broke in 2014.

Pandor told Parliament that the bill would be a serious blow to those with fake qualifications.

She said the database would be able to register many people with qualifications from accredited institutions.

The bill was tabled a few months ago after the government raised concerns about the rising number of people with fake qualifications.

The NCOP will now work on the bill before it is referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be signed into law.

Political Bureau