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UIF opens fourth case of COVID-19 scheme fund abuse with Hawks

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said a fourth case has been opened with the Hawks against a company, which received over R700,000.

Picture: UIF

JOHANNESBURG - The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has opened a fourth case with the Hawks over the abuse of COVID-19 temporary employee/employer scheme funds by either companies or individuals.

This comes amid calls for the R38 billion paid to over 600,000 companies to be probed following allegations that some employers withheld the funds or lied about their employees not working during the lockdown when some businesses had to suspend operations.

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said a fourth case has been opened with the Hawks against a company, which received over R700,000.

In June, an individual working for a benefitting company was arrested after they transferred over R5 million meant for the distressed business’ workers into their account.

The UIF is appointing forensic auditors to follow the trail of the monies paid to companies while it is also one of the entities being audited by the auditor general over 2019 relief funds.

Maruping said the UIF-appointed auditors will be guided by several terms of reference, which include establishing whether companies claimed on behalf of workers who have been with them for over 12 months.

“The last key leg now is to confirm that we have paid in R15 million to this company and now we need to link the R15 million to the 100 people, one by one because we give the company how much is due to each employee.”

The UIF has also recovered millions of rands from the bank accounts of individuals where funds were erroneously paid either when companies sent the wrong account details or employees intentionally defrauded the system.

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