Billions In TERS Funds Voluntarily Returned To UIF


Seeing someone get prosecuted for a crime often serves as a warning to others that the law will catch up to you eventually. This warning has been taken by some employers as they begin returning funds to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).




UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping has revealed that some employers who benefited from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) have returned money to the fund. So far, these employers have voluntarily returned R3.4 billion to the UIF.

The TERS scheme was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic to supplement some of the lost income of employees due the impact of the Covid-19 related lockdowns. To date, R61 billion in TERS relief has been distributed to affected employers and their employees.

The commissioner believes that the employers who voluntarily returned money to the UIF saw media reports of prosecutions of employers fraudulently benefiting from the TERS fund.

Maruping said, “As we anticipate more arrests and convictions through our investigative partnerships with law enforcement agencies and “follow the money" project, we expect that more employers will continue coming forward and to pay back money to the Fund."

UIF Deputy Director of governance Smiso Nkosi revealed that at least R14,1 billion disbursed through TERS has been audited through the UIF’s “Follow The Money Project”.

The Follow The Money Project seeks to ensure that the relief is being disbursed appropriately. This project seeks to determine whether the employer exists, verifying that workers are employed by the employer claiming benefits, finding proof that money reached the intended employees and that the TERS claims were accurate and that monies were not abused.

The UIF revealed that 750 cases of fraud were received, of which 102 were referred to Fusion Centre for criminal investigation and prosecution while 172 cases were referred to SIU for further investigation.





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