The Department of Employment and Labour said that there has been a delay in paying deserving beneficiaries’ UIF claims since the beginning of June following the re-introduction of internal control measures.
THE DEPARTMENT of Employment and Labour said that there has been a delay in paying deserving beneficiaries of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) since the beginning of June following the re-introduction of internal control measures.
The department said it had reintroduced the control measures in a bid to curb fraudulent claims.
It said since the start of June it had seen a significant drop in daily payouts, from about R90 million to around R50m, due to the verification process it had started.
“As the country grappled with haemorrhaging jobs in most industries during the Level 5 and 4 lockdown periods, the fund loosened some of its internal control measures to enable beneficiaries already receiving UIF benefits easy access to their payments.”
The department said UIF beneficiaries who receive benefits every month were required to complete the UI.6A form or Payment of Continuation, as means to confirm that they are still unemployed. But these requirements were waived during the hard lockdown to allow for the efficient payment of benefits.
Teboho Maruping, UIF commissioner, said the fund had noticed a significant rise in corrupt activities where claims with significantly higher amounts were quickly processed and paid.
“Since the re-introduction of these measures from June 1, the fund has stopped and started the processes for fraud investigations on more than 30 payments. Three officials have already been dismissed for fraud relating to benefits payments, and I wish to warn those who are still involved in these nefarious activities that the net is closing.”
Gretchen Gardiner, 35, said that she was employed as a student success adviser in 2020 and then went on maternity leave. She applied for UIF benefits during her maternity leave.
“In August 2020, after my baby was born, I sent all the necessary documentation, which was subsequently lost by the UIF – and had to be re-sent to them 17 times before they finally confirmed in the beginning of 2022 that they had them.”
Gardiner added that her claim had still not been processed.
One woman said she was frustrated by the delays.
“You send e-mails, wait for hours on the phone and you get nowhere. Government really needs to do something drastically about UIF.”
Ashley Benjamin, deputy general secretary of the Federation of Unions of SA, said: “We will assist anybody who has been affected by delays in UIF payments.”
Matthew Parks, parliamentary co-ordinator for Cosatu, said while it was important that fraud be prevented, the UIF must not allow delays in payments to legitimate recipients.