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Nxesi: Auditor-General’s UIF TER scheme report points to faults within system

Nxesi has on Wednesday afternoon unpacked findings relating to the UIF COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief (TER) Scheme.

FILE: Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said a report by the Auditor General into COVID-19 spending points to numerous gaps, risks and inadequate controls and verification processes within the system.

Nxesi has on Wednesday afternoon unpacked findings relating to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief (TER) Scheme.

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu released a report earlier on Wednesday on the real-time auditing his office was requested to do, by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to track how funds were being spent from the start of lockdown to the end of July.

He's uncovered evidence of fraud and corruption in the spending of the government’s multi-billion-rand COVID-19 relief package.

Nxesi said inadequate controls and verification processes have resulted in illegal payments to, amongst others, students receiving National Student Financial Aid Scheme payments, public servants, UIF employees, inmates, deceased people and minors.\

The Minister Nxesi said there's also evidence of overpayments, underpayments and inflated claims.

He said they had requested National Treasury to deploy technical resources to the UIF to urgently implement the Auditor General's recommendations and to develop solutions to identified gaps and risks.

“In addition, the National Treasury is assisting the director-general of the Department of Labour to find the service provider to conduct a further investigation on the overall workings of the UIF scheme.

UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping has been placed on precautionary suspension and Labour Department's chief operations officer Marsha Bronckhorst has been appointed acting Commissioner.

Watch: Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi media briefing on TERS benefits

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