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UIF ‘100% sure’ COVID-19 TERS fraud won’t happen again

The UIF resumed payments on Monday after the scheme was suspended in August due to defects being identified in the controls of the system.

The extended UIF call centre in Johannesburg. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has assured South Africans that it has introduced smarter technology to prevent the circumvention of its systems in its COVID-19 Temporary Employment Relief Fund Scheme.

The UIF resumed payments on Monday after the scheme was suspended in August due to defects being identified in the controls of the system.

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu released a report on the COVID-19 relief fund, which found that there were overpayments, underpayments, fraud and double dipping.

The UIF said that it had lost about R1 billion to these irregular payments.

Makwetu found that a high number of payments were flagged that required investigation.

These included payments to people who were below the age of employment, some who are deceased and others who were already receiving social grants.

The UIF’s Makhosonke Buthelezi said that they were 100% sure that this would not happen again.

“With the data taken against Home Affairs, in real-time we will get the application and run it through checks with Home Affairs and they come back to us and we will be able to make a determination if there is nothing wrong with an application.”

Meanwhile, Makwetu’s office is continuing its investigation into the eligibility of beneficiaries who were paid.

The observations in this regard are expected to be included in the next report.

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