W Cape company flagged for R3million TERS fraud
Share this article:
A company in the Western Cape is being probed for fraud after allegedly making claims worth R3million from the UIF’s Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).
Another eight employees have been referred to the Special Investigative Unit by the Unemployment Insurance Fund for non-compliance during the audit process.
This was disclosed by UIF’s acting commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst who briefed the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Development and Tourism on Wednesday to discuss challenges experienced in the administration of the scheme in the Western Cape.
As much as R10.4billion was paid out to 54 982 businesses between April and December, 2020.
Bronkhorst said post-verification audits conducted through the follow-the-money project saw 45 employers verified which involved 47 372 workers. These are companies that had been previous flagged for fraud or irregularities by the office of the Auditor General.
“The money associated with fraud is R3.8million of which we have thus far recovered R250 000,” he said.
“There was one employer suspected of fraud and another eight who refused access to the audit companies. Any employer who is refusing to cooperate is immediately referred to the SIU, it is the view of UIF that if an employer has nothing to hide they will cooperate.”
Bronkhorst said the company’s claim was fraudulent because it operated fully during lockdown.
Chairperson of the Committee Deidre Baartman said: “This amount is alarming and the committee has requested that the UIF submits the police case number in order to monitor the UIF’s progress in recuperating the funds.”
“My greatest concern is that there appears to be a high level of non-compliance by businesses in registering their employees and the apparent manipulation of the application process.”