TERS fund payments halted following Auditor-General's recommendation

The temporary halt would enable the UIF to deal with the gaps identified by the Auditor-General

Payments for the new and outstanding applications for the Covid-19 TERS relief benefits have been halted while the Department of Employment and Labour and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) improve controls as urged by the Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa.

The Department said in a statement that this temporary halt would enable the UIF not only to deal with the gaps identified by the AG but also offers the opportunity to ensure that some of the improvements that had already been identified by the management are made.

“Whilst the AG has shown us a number of deficiencies in the payment of the Covid-19 TERS benefits, I must hasten to add that many of these deficiencies had been picked up already by management. Some had already been corrected in the June payments but we will continue to improve the systems so that it responds to needs of our beneficiaries and make the payments effective and efficient,” said Marsha Bronkhorst, the acting UI Commissioner.

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“As soon as the improvements are finalised, we will be in a position to ensure that workers of this country are provided a cushion to make their lives easier,” she said.

For those who defrauded the system, the Commissioner said the law would take its course. 

“There are already some cases that we have brought to the SAPS for investigation and prosecution – 35 out of a total of 146. This also serves as a notice to those who may have intentions to try and defraud the system. Not only will it be harder to do so, but even if they do succeed, the law will eventually get them and they will pay for stealing from the workers,” she said.

Despite the above, however, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), has extended the processing of new claims for April to September following consultations with social partners at Nedlac. The new dates are set out as follows:

  • Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for March 2020 to May 2020 shall close on 25 September 2020, and no further applications for that period shall be accepted beyond that date. 
  • Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for June 2020 shall close on 15 October 2020, and no further applications for that period shall be accepted beyond that date.
  • Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for July to 15 September 2020 shall close 30 October 2020, and no further applications for that period shall be accepted beyond that date