Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has revealed that more than R2-billion has been paid to the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Temporary Emergency Employer-Employee Relief Scheme, and 1000 cases have been referred to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for criminal investigation, as reported by News 24.
A total of 15 cases were referred to court, and thus far, 80 suspects have already appeared.
In 2020, the Auditor General’s office conducted an audit of the disbursements. During the audit, it was found that money was paid out to those who would not usually qualify for a payout; these included prison inmates, the deceased, and university students.
It was also found that the scheme had overpaid, but had underpaid to employers in some cases.
Speaking during a virtual meeting between the National Council of Provinces, it was noted that the follow-up money is being recovered on a daily basis and that various employers are recipients to acknowledgment of debt agreements.
“Slightly above R2 billion has been refunded thus far to the UIF. The follow-up money is also on a daily basis recovering money and employers are entering acknowledgement of debt agreements. One thousand cases have been referred to SAPS for criminal investigation and 15 (cases) have already (been) referred to court with 80 (suspects) already appearing in court,” said Nxesi in response ANC MP from the Northern Cape.
When questioned further about management and irregularities, Nxesi said that the UIF chief risk officer continues to look at cases on an ongoing basis. He also stipulated that the Department of Employment and Labour was in the process of changing its IT systems and procedures and would update employers on these changes.