Just Over R70 Million Uncovered In Wrongfully Claimed UIF


After a two-year investigation, the Special Investigating Unit has uncovered millions of wrongfully claimed UIF payments. This is not the first time that fraud has occurred within the Scheme. 



The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered at least R71 million from companies that unduly claimed from the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), including R 9.9 million paid directly to the UIF by companies. 

The SIU began investigating into TERS funding in June 2021, and now has revealed the findings of that investigation. 

In a statement, the SIU said: 

The SIU was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations made in respect of the affairs of the UIF in terms of Proclamation R.8 of 2021. The SIU investigated TERS payments to persons who were not entitled to receive such payments; submitted false, irregular, invalid or defective applications to the UIF, including the causes of such maladministration. 

Some of the companies that paid money directly to UIF includes South African Airways Technical, which paid back R8.8 million and RH Matjhabeng Hospital, a private hospital in Free State province, among others. The hospital paid back R488 458.21.

The TERS fund was primarily formed to save jobs and ease the financial burden on businesses but most importantly, their vulnerable workers, after the country was placed on the first hard lockdown during 2020, to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The hospital has admitted to wrongfully receiving money from the Scheme, as it was not meant to apply and receive TERS funds, as their operations were not affected by COVID-19. 

The Special Investigating Unit explained:

Immediately after an agreement was reached, the hospital deviated from the agreement held with the SIU and paid back the money directly into the UIF account instead of the SIU. 

The SIU said it has referred any evidence of criminality to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for possible prosecution.

Last year, billions were returned to the UIF, after it was discovered that some employers wrongfully benefited from the TERS fund. 

At the time, UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, stated that he believes that the employers who voluntarily returned money to the UIF saw media reports of prosecutions of employers fraudulently benefiting from the TERS fund.

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. 

The UIF created and implemented the “Follow The Money Project”, which 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.

Through this project, 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.


Suggested Article:

UIF investigating companies who received TERS

During the national lockdown, the Unemployment Insurance Fund provided wage subsidies to thousands of employees and employers affected by the lockdown. However, it was revealed that many companies and individuals wrongfully received money from the fund.




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