SRD Grant Applications Expose UIF Fraudsters



Unemployed individuals were thrown a lifeline during the Covid-19 pandemic with the establishment of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. However, this lifeline was short lived as applicants were told that they were receiving benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).




The Department of Employment and Labour revealed that they received a surge in complaints regarding "bogus employers" who allegedly used Identification (ID) numbers of individuals to apply for Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits.

The department said most of these complaints emerged after unemployed individuals applied for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Sassa rejected these SRD grant applications and informed unsuccessful applicants that they were receiving benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

The UIF is therefore calling on clients and job seekers to guard their ID numbers. This as ID numbers could be used by malicious individuals to apply for unemployed relief on their behalf, leaving them with nothing.

“These are mainly learners/students, who are recruited for 'learnerships' and their studies are allegedly sponsored for R3 500, which was never paid to the learners but ended up being labelled as their monthly salary when claiming UIF,” explained the fund.

The department said their Risk Management unit has launched multiple investigations and have already identified some of these “bogus employers”. While the fund cannot yet name the companies as their investigation remains ongoing, the companies are located in KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country.

“Furthermore, the Fund has introduced the payment verification process to check validity and existence of employees which will assist us in tracking down all the bogus employers” said UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping.

The UIF has promised that any company that is found to be defrauding the UIF will be reported to law enforcement agencies and criminal cases will be opened with the South African Police Services (SAPS).





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