Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has assured Parliament during a virtual Employment and Labour Portfolio Committee meeting, that the department is taking the necessary precautions while allocating COVID-19 TERS Benefits to avoid accidentally processing fraudulent claims.
At the time of the meeting, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) had paid more than R14-billion to qualifying workers to assist them during the lockdown.
The Minister said that suspicious claims are being subjected to forensic audits.
“With these huge payments, inevitably you will attract criminals and companies colluding with employees to try and fleece the coffers. We will be engaging the services of the auditor-general and auditing firms to ensure that we comb through all the payments,” the Minister said.
UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping indicated that there were employers who were claiming for more employees than those who are registered in the system.
Maruping said that, where companies that were still under lockdown is concerned, the process of payments would be fast-tracked as the fund already had the necessary details.
“Moreover, we are paying workers directly and we have increased our capacity to process the claims. We will easily check on those who have not returned to work enabling that simplicity of payments.” Maruping said, adding “We will also advise the companies that there is no need to apply again and that we will automatically pay.”
The system will be open for applications this coming Friday, 22 May 2020.