Fake certificates and bogus colleges: Watch out

19 February 2024 - 13:02
By TimesLIVE
Businesses and other entities are advised to verify qualifications. Stock photo.
Image: svl861/123RF Businesses and other entities are advised to verify qualifications. Stock photo.

South Africans are advised against wasting their money at unaccredited colleges and are warned not to buy fake certificates.

Umalusi, which sets and monitors standards for general and further education and training, says it is working with law enforcement to clamp down on these practises.

Between October and December last year, 11 suspects were arrested by police in connection with selling and buying fake certificates.

The arrests were made in Burgersfort in Limpopo and Pretoria in Gauteng.

The Hawks also arrested an employee of the department of higher education in December for allegedly fraudulently issuing a certificate in return for a cash gratuity.

“Because of the increase in reported cases of fake certificates, fraudulent and misrepresentation of qualifications, Umalusi continues to urge employers in the public and private sectors and institutions of higher learning to periodically verify the qualifications of their employees and students.”

This can be done through verification agencies listed on the Umalusi website.

Umalusi warned members of the public against buying fake certificates.

“Such certificates have no currency because they do not appear in the certification databases of Umalusi and the National Learners` Records Database, which is managed by the South African Qualifications Authority. Those who buy fake certificates are wasting their time and money.”

Umalusi said it is also “concerned about unaccredited private institutions that continue to register candidates, fully aware they are operating unlawfully”.

Accredited institutions can be found here

Anyone encountering an unaccredited institution is asked to contact the relevant education department and to e-mail Umalusi to report it.