Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has confirmed the suspension of the entire Unemployment Insurance Fund senior management, including UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping, as well as the fund’s CFO, COO and the head of the supply chain, pending a forensic investigation.
His announcement follows the briefing by the Auditor General, who has found flaws in the UIF system during the national lockdown.
Nxesi said the suspensions will give the Special Investigating Unit a chance to conclude its investigation.
He said on the 24th August, the SIU launched a rapid forensic audit into the AG’s findings on the UIF with a view to recovering monies illegally paid and charging the perpetrators.
“The DG of the department of labour and employment has suspended the UIF management, the CFO, the COO and the head of the supply chain.These moves allow for the SIU to conclude its forensic investigations completely,” he said.
“This is not the end of the matter. The complete audit of all Covid19 Ters benefit payments, as agreed with all social partners at Nedlac, commences this month. Beyond that, the AG will have a second bite in terms of the annual statutory audit for 2020/21. I assure you that I will not rest until every payment is accounted for, and every wrong-doer made to account.”
He added that there are already 38 court cases opened against individuals and businesses related to COVID-19.
In terms of COVID-19 Ters benefits, R41.6 billion has been disbursed in 9.5 million payments to laid-off workers, representing 822,000 employers.
These benefits have supported millions of laid-off workers, their families, and injected cash into local economies.
This is an update on the AG’s report this morning which recorded that R37 billion had been disbursed by the end of June.
Meanwhile, during the state of disaster, normal UIF payments of R5.9 billion have gone out to over 1 million claimants, said Nxesi.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)