UIF Ters benefit suspended once again

Based on the Auditor-General alerting the department to irregularities.
Once the outcome from Nedlac is announced, the application dates will be made public. Image: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

The Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) benefit has been temporarily suspended, following the identification of control deficiencies within the Ters system.

According to Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi, these control ‘deficiencies’ include inconsistencies regarding past payments made to people who are deceased, imprisoned, or who are minors.

The Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) alerted the Department of Labour to the irregularities.

Buthelezi confirms that the department is investigating the AGSA’s findings.

“This issue is under investigation, however, we normally check IDs against the Home Affairs database. That is why in some cases we’ve been able to stop payments where Home Affairs confirms that the applicant is deceased,” Buthelezi says.

When asked by Moneyweb if this is an indication of corruption within the department or by applicants, he alludes to the fact that the department has previously made attempts to put control measures in place.

“Some of the things we’ve done to curb fraud include bank verification prior to payment, blocking the payment where anomalies are detected such as multiple UIF reference numbers against one bank account, and we’ve also introduced business rules to deal with some of the control deficiencies like payments to underage or overage claimants. We’re still going to appoint a team of auditors to follow up on all payments made,” Buthelezi says.

This is not the first challenge which the department has been faced with since the benefit was implemented.

Read:
Ters relief directives cause confusion
Employers ‘angry, frustrated, horrified’ by Ters process
UIF payment system tightened, hence delays

As reported previously, applications for May opened late, at midnight on May 26. Applications for June opened late, on June 24, and closed almost immediately because of security and data breach issues, with functionality only restored in the second weekend of July.

In July scammers were warned that the security of the UIF Ters benefit payment system had been tightened.

Buthelezi acknowledges that the system was upgraded to prevent further fraudulent activities.

“Yes, the system was upgraded and hence we introduced bank verification process which involves cross-checking information with Home Affairs, Sars and the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission).”

While the department has identified a number of anomalies in respect to past payments made to persons, it will be comparing its database with that of the Department of Home Affairs in an attempt to rectify this situation going forward.

Buthelezi says it is unclear how long payments will be suspended.

Who has been paid?

According to the National Employers Association of South Africa:

  • 12% of employers still haven’t received their April payments and of the 88% of employers who received payment, only 68% were paid in full.
  • 19% of employers still haven’t received their May benefit; of the 81% who received payment, only 69% were paid in full.
  • 30% of employers are still waiting for their June payments; of the 70% who received payment, only 77% were paid in full.
  • 95% of employers still haven’t received their July benefit; of the 5% who received payment, only 47% were paid in full.

Those wanting to receive April and May benefits have been told that they have until September 15 to apply, but because the outcome of the investigation is still dependent on the National Economic Development and Labour Council, this can no longer be confirmed.

Read: UIF to process July and August Ters claims from Monday

“I’m unfortunately not sure when the outcome from Nedlac [can] be expected,” Buthelezi says.

Listen: Werksmans labour law specialist Sandile July explains to Nompu Siziba how UIF Ters scheme applicants may still apply for the benefit, given a new directive (or read the transcript here):

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Wherever you look : Supreme, indeed masterful incompetence of the ANC / commie government.

Aided and abetted by the millions who, in spite of living in abject poverty, refuse to vote in their own interests.

Look no further than Number One in the corruption accused dock.
Same old, same old with no consequences.

Unbelievable. There are technologies that can provide full transparency and traceability.

There needs to be a law passed to force these for every single Rand spend in the Govt, SOEs and UIF.

These guys couldn’t run a bath ………….

Here’s “Gubment” helping the poor as they purport to do so. SAD

This will never stop.

Sorry, this time blaming the ANC or government administration is wrong. We provide an additional service to all our clients in respect of payroll administration. Our involvement affects just under 500 people. I can attest that everyone has been paid in full barring the last claims. We also offered to assist other non-clients and the only reason why their employees were not paid in accordance with the rules and regulations, is due to bad salary administration. Labour laws demand the performance certain administrative functions. Employers should be held responsible for their omissions and inaccuracies.

Blanket statement with a tiny sample size. You cannot make such a statement.

Are you defending a bunch of communists? I would be ashamed to word for the clowns.

“Sorry, this time blaming the ANC or government administration is wrong.” What a opening statement though, just brilliant

You’re telling all that you have no idea what’s going on.
Try opening your eyes and ears instead of looking at your own internal view. Otherwise the ANC will open your purse and your savings for you.

Excuse me – we are a small laundry business with 3 staff & our applications have been submitted by the “bargaining council” & have received the necessary ” acknowledgement of receipt confirming particulars correct payment to be processed”.To date none of the staff have been paid since april !!.Obviously you have some reliable connection which we thought by going through the “Govt.approved bargaining council” might be a better option for quicker processing of payments.Unfortunately it hasn’t helped.Maybe you could suggest a better method.

And what about the people who are relying on those payments? I feel for the people who so desperately need the money – having legitimately contributed for years – and are now left stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If the UIF is not able to meet its mandate as a safety net (for either individual or corporate crisis), maybe the whole thing should rather be scrapped…

At least any decent software used for the ters exercise should have stopped any payment immediately/ automatically if the person’s id / entity’s registration number indicated that either he/she is a minor/deceased or the company is a deregistered entity – even people imprisoned’s id from the police department data base should also stopped payment in its tracks.

So, a considerable sum of funds is allocated. Wonder where it’s all gone? Should we start a list of probable money sinks?

How far do we let this corruption in the ANC go? Until there’s not a cent left?

End of comments.

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