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UIF to appoint forensic auditors to track spending of R18bn paid out for TERS

Government has announced several measures to account for COVID-19 funds following allegations of widespread corruption, with UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping saying that some companies had been found to have engaged in criminal conduct.

Picture: UIF

JOHANNESBURG - The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is in the process of appointing forensic auditors to probe how companies spent the R18 billion paid out through the COVID-19 temporary employer/employee scheme (TERS).

Government has announced several measures to account for COVID-19 funds following allegations of widespread corruption, with UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping saying that some companies had been found to have engaged in criminal conduct.

The UIF wants the audit process to start next month following the fund’s own discoveries of fraudulent behaviour in some companies which received the TERS benefit.

The scheme was established to cover workers’ wages when businesses were forced to shut down during the hard lockdown, however, it has since emerged that some companies either withheld the funds or their employees defrauded the UIF system.

Maruping said that companies would have to submit documents containing payroll data for the months between April and August.

The UIF has conducted its audit sample of 80 companies and has found that 90% paid monies over to workers.

Those who failed to do so had experienced challenges with undeclared workers.

Over 500,000 employers applied for the benefit.

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