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Stricter checks for UIF Ters beneficiaries

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund has implemented stricter measures to ensure that the correct beneficiaries were paid out and has had auditors following the money trail since December

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has implemented stricter measures to ensure that the correct beneficiaries were paid out and has had auditors following the money trail since December

Durban – THE Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has implemented stricter measures to ensure that the correct beneficiaries were paid out and has had auditors following the money trail since December.

Spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi said this was after the auditor-general’s findings last year.

In September, the auditor-general found significant issues with UIF Ters which resulted in irregular payments to the tune of R161 million as well as fraud.

Last month, Corruption Watch’s report released on UIF Ters where it alluded to possible bribes being paid to officials by employers.

Buthelezi said the Special Investigation Unit for the Fusion Centre was investigating possible collusion between UIF officials and employers.

“We are still waiting for the final report and haven’t got anything to prove that there is indeed collusion,” Buthelezi said.

He said since the auditors started in December their preliminary findings were that five employers were paid out but did not pay employees.

“These companies are continuing with their investigation and we expect that there will be more companies withholding money,” he said.

Buthelezi said the checks they had in place included cross referencing with the Department of Home Affairs, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), the government payroll system and SA Revenue Service (Sars).

Buthelezi said there were a number of applications received in April that had invalid ID numbers.

“We have to make sure that we pay people with valid IDs.

“The auditor-general last year picked up that some of the people you have paid have passed away, some of them are convicted, some of them not of a working age and are underage, some are of retirement age.

“So we came up with this business plan to do these checks,” said Buthelezi.

He said they were checking against the government’s payroll system because it was discovered that some people who were paid, worked for the government.

Buthelezi said they also checked declarations with companies when it came to the number of employees in the company against the number in the company who had applied for UIF Ters.

“There were situations where the employer pays UIF via Sars, but does not declare who they are paying for, that’s why we always insist that they must be declared with us so that we can match them with the payments.

“We have received a lot of undeclared employees,” said Buthelezi.

He said they had also received claims for people whose employment had been terminated before Covid-19.

Buthelezi said payments where these checks had not been passed were not made as a result.

He said these checks had delayed payments for foreign nationals who were last paid in April a total sum of R2.2 billion.

Buthelezi said they had exceeded the R60bn mark regarding payments made since April.

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