Recent media reports have pointed out that AFU was investigating a case in which R5.7 million in UIF funds intended for 200 workers impacted by the Covid-19 national lockdown was paid to a single person.
According to the report, the money was then rapidly disbursed to friends and business associates of the recipient over the course of five days. The AFU and the UIF were now investigating the matter and 28 bank accounts had been frozen in connection with the fraudulent transaction.
“We are investigating whether there was complicity on the part of those working at the UIF. There is a suspicion that there may have been criminal activity between UIF officials and the end recipient of the money,” said the NPA’s Sipho Ngwema.
However, despite the matter being left for benefit of doubt, the DA thinks that this is just a tip of a larger conspiracy involving the usual money theft by government officials.
“However, this [R5.7] million fraud is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Since the introduction of the Ters benefit at the beginning of the national lockdown, hundreds of employers have reported that their Ters benefits were paid into the wrong bank account. Many were informed by the UIF that their benefits had been paid, only to find that the benefits never arrived in the employer’s designated bank account,” Cardo said.
During the month of April, UIF launched a new updated online portal for companies to claim payments for their employees. This was as a result of reports that a lot of companies were unable to make claims due to to the complex application process as it was reported that only 136 out of 39,000 applications successfully processed through the previous portal.
15,755 of these applications were duplicates, and of the remaining applications, only 16,534 were in the correct CSV file format. Of these, only 136 contained the correct information, said the UIF.