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You Can Now Face Jail Time if You Lie about a Degree on Your CV or Social Media

According to the newly enforced  National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act, anyone who lies about holding a tertiary education on their CV or social media platforms could face up to five years in jail

More specifically, the Act seeks to make provision to punish anyone who “falsely or fraudulently claims to be holding a qualification or part-qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework or awarded by an education institution, skills development provider, QC or obtained from a lawfully recognised foreign institution.”

What’s more- it doesn’t just require a potential employer to point out the fraudulent statement and report the person on question: anyone who thinks a claim about a qualification is untrue or misleading on someone’s CV or social media platform can raise the issue with The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), who will have to investigate the allegation.

“Of course, not every person who claims to have a fake qualification is liable for prosecution,” clarifies Adv. Jackie Nagtegaal, LAW FOR ALL’s Managing Director. “ Many people are conned by fake education institutions and, in turn, receive fraudulent qualifications. In this case, the institution’s owners will be investigated and possibly face up to 5 years behind bars.”

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National Credit Amendment Bill to Help Over-Indebted South Africans

South Africa is one of the most indebted nations in the world, but consumers could find some relief in the near future, thanks to the passing of the National Credit Amendment Bill.

The bill, which is now with the National Council of Provinces for consideration, enables low-income or poverty- stricken people to manage their debt through a process of debt restructuring.

More specifically, the bill will allow for intervention for over-indebted consumers earning R7 500 per month or less. The first step in the intervention process involves debt restructuring, which will give consumers five years to pay their debt. If that proves to be unrealistic, the credit agreement will be suspended for 12 to 24 months but there will be regular reviews.

What’s more, the National Credit Amendment Bill will reportedly enforce responsible lending and borrowing, and any unregistered lenders will be arrested. ANC MP Joanmariae Fubbs also added that Magistrates will have the power to make rulings on reducing interests on loans to as little as zero percent to enable consumers to repay their debt.

While the bill drew support from the ANC and EFF, the DA weren’t as convinced. MP Dean Macpherson argued that the amendments will increase the cost of credit and restrict access to credit. He also pointed out that it’s very likely that the Consumer Tribunal and National Credit Regulator will struggle to process the mass influx of applications.

At LAW FOR ALL, we understand how easy it can be to buckle under financial pressure and make mistakes. So we thought it sensible to put together some handy tips to keep you legally savvy and help you survive these financially trying times by combating your debt.

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Uber and Taxify to be Regulated in South Africa?

The National Land Transport Amendment Bill is now just a small step away from being signed into law, after Parliament officially passed it earlier this week.

The bill was originally opened for public commentary in 2013 and sets out regulations for ride-sharing or “e-hailing” services, such as Uber and Taxify in South Africa.

Essentially, it means that e-hailing drivers will have to conform to the same laws as meter taxi drivers in that they will have to obtain their own operating licence.

What’s more, it opens the door for the Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, to institute more rules, including revisions to the Uber and Taxify smartphone apps so that users have a better idea of who their driver will be, which exact route will be taken to their destination and how much the trip will cost.

The exact details of just how much more info will legally need to be given to users have yet to be confirmed.

In addition to regulating e-hailing services, the bill also allows provinces to create new contracts for public transport services in areas where municipalities do not meet the proposed requirements. Minister Nzimande also pointed out that the National Government will also be given the power to enter into contracts in “extreme circumstances where there are gaps in the public transport system”.

The bill will now head to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for final approval and then signed into law by president Cyril Ramaphosa.


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ConCourt Urges Courts to Uphold Biowatch Judgement

Earlier this week, the Constitutional Court urged courts to adhere to the Biowatch judgement that was made in 2009.

Essentially, the ruling was passed to support people who were taking state bodies to court by protecting them from paying exorbitant legal costs.  For example, if an accuser’s case against the state is unsuccessful, he/she will not be ordered to pay the state’s legal costs.

On Tuesday‚ the court set aside the costs orders made against a student who lost an admission battle with the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  The ConCourt ruled that the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal should not have burdened the student with paying the state’s legal costs.

“Although Biowatch was decided eight years ago‚ it seems that the other courts are yet to embrace its principle. This is apparent from the growing number of matters that come before this court‚ in which the issue of not applying Biowatch is raised. This is unfortunate‚” Justice Chris Jafta said in his judgement.

Simply put, it means that unsuccessful litigants should not be financially crippled by exercising their right to take state bodies to court. That said, Justice Jafta insisted that doesn’t meant that people have free rein to institute flippant legal actions against the state.

But, at the end of the day, it is refreshing to see that the ConCourt continues to fight to protect the legal rights of all South Africans. We at LAW FOR ALL has strived to make the law affordable and accessible for all since 1993.

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