UIF is under control, fraud & corruption holes are being plugged – Nxesi

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Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says the UIF has so far paid out more than R49 billion in 11 million payments, reaching about five million laid-off workers.

Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi delivers his department’s budget vote before MPs in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @deptoflabour/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on Tuesday said the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) liquidity and sustainability was under constant monitoring and review.

He said the UIF has so far paid out more than R49 billion in 11 million payments, reaching about five million laid-off workers.

Nxesi told the National Assembly that about R3.5 billion in wrongful payments had already been recovered.

He added that the UIF’s Temporary Employer Relief Scheme (TERS) was helping to save jobs, and that “the holes are being plugged” in terms of fraud and corruption.

One-hundred-and-fifty-seven cases are being investigated, including 38 where employers withheld or underpaid employees’ benefits and 90 suspected fraudulent claims.

The special relief was initially to have run only for three months at a cost of R40 billion, but Nxesi said it is now projected that at least R60 billion would be needed.

“The liquidity and sustainability of the fund is under constant monitoring and review. We have actuaries, and they are able to tell us this is where we are now.”

Asked about a further extension of the relief payments, he said this would first have to be discussed.

“But we must also look at the liquidity and the sustainability (of the UIF), informed by the economists and the actuaries. I cannot just come here and be populist and make that announcement,” he said.

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