The Unemployment Insurance Fund has recovered more than R1 Billion from people who undeservedly benefited from the fund.
The UIF has so far spent R700 Million on investigations to ensure that people misappropriating UIF funds are brought to justice. Investigators have audited more than 40 companies to date.
Acting UIF commissioner Advocate Mazewanele Yawa explained how companies defraud the fund and their workers.
He said “according to the Covid regulations those that are essential services... they work all the time. They [esential workers] would have been at work but their employers come to us when it pretends that we also were closed and those are the very people who come into the system with no purpose of paying it to the worker because they know that the worker is not expecting any payment because it's at work”.
The UIF’s risk unit is working with law enforcement in order to strengthen the fund’s preventative mechanisms.
The Special Investigative Unit (SIU), set up to investigate fraud, has recovered more than R4 million. They have also found that over 9000 government employees had claimed TERS benefits despite receiving full salaries.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago explained that they matched government employee’s persal numbers to people who claimed from the UIF.
He said, “We found there are so many of them and that work for the government in most of the departments and I think the most affected departments are Department of Education and Department of Health”.
Last month the Employment and Labour Sector welcomed the arrest of a 38-year old bookkeeper for stole 11.1 Million and from the UIF’s TERS fund. It is alleged that the bookkeeper applied for TERS benefits on behalf of clients but failed to give the clients the money.
At the time, commissioner Yawa said that he hoped the arrest would send a strong message to would-be fraudsters that the law would catch up to them.
He said, “We cannot tolerate the siphoning off of worker’s benefits by unscrupulous individuals. All fraudsters are on notice and we hope more of these suspects will be arrested and sent straight to jail,”.