Labour says TERS fraud delaying some payments

Labour says TERS fraud delaying some payments

The Labour Department says there’s a possibility the payment of some UIF COVID-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme benefits will be delayed due to the current fraud investigations.

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Earlier this month, Minister Thulas Nxesi told Parliament the Unemployment Insurance Fund had paid out nearly R30 billion in TERS benefits to more than half-a-million companies.

But not all of those who’ve received this money have been the workers needing seeking the relief.

Last month, R5.7 million meant to be deposited into labour brokerage firm, GCS Resources’ account for its clients fraudulently ended up in the account of employee, Tshepang Phohole.

Phohole, who lives in Pretoria, allegedly distributed the money among his family members and his girlfriend.

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Five people have been arrested and charged for fraud and money laundering.

Communications Director at the UIF,  Makhosonke Buthelezi, says it's clear to them that fraud occurred in this case, adding there are two other incidents being investigated involving  R4.7 million and R700 000.

He says the UIF is also currently sitting with over 50 suspicious claims.

"We're investigating about 57 cases. In some of them, employees have come forward to say we were working during the lockdown and our employer has claimed for us, but we have not received those monies. It's such cases that we're investigating," he said.

The Labour Department says the UIF has paid claims of just over R1 billion directly into the accounts of over 238 000 workers.

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