29 June 2020
– The DA has questioned the series of events that have unfolded at the Unemployment Insurance Fund – The UIF has made a series of erroneous payments to accounts of individual and DA MP Michael Cardo is questioning the spending of funds.
– Cardo has also criticised the UIF for not opening June applications yet.
The DA has questioned the motives of Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi after it was revealed that R5.7 million in Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) funds was paid to one single person. DA Shadow Minister for Employment and Labour Michael Cardo said there is clearly something wrong at the fund that goes beyond “system glitches”. This comes after news that the UIF applications have not yet been opened for the Covid-19 Temporary Employee / Employer Relief Scheme (TERS).
UIF has been rocked by a series of scandals, including paying nearly R5 million to a bus driver who retired months ago.
Cardo criticised the UIF, saying their incompetence was devastating the livelihoods of millions of workers and their families. Briefly.co.za reported that a retired bus driver was erroneously paid R4.7 million in Covid-19 relief funds meant for 1 000 of his former colleagues and the man began spending the money immediately. Cardo questioned the situation at UIF, asking if the UIF was running out of money, reported The South African. Last week, the Asset Forteiture Unit (AFU) froze accounts linked to the payment of R5.7 million after the money was allegedly paid into the wrong account.
The owner of the account, Tshepang Phohole, then transferred the money to several other accounts. The case is still being investigated. According to the DA, of the R40 billion that was set aside for the Covid-19 TERS benefit scheme for the months of April, May and June, the UIF has paid out around R26 billion. Cardo said: “Many workers have still not received their payments for April. Only about R6 billion worth of benefits has been disbursed for May, compared to R20 billion for April” The Department of Employment and Labour recently announced that 965 751 peopleare unable to receive their UIF payment because of outstanding information from employers in their applications.
The amount translates to R4.2 billion that has not been paid out. Cardo said the UIF is already struggling to pay TERS on time and minister Nxesi needs to take the nation into his confidence and set a date for when the application for June benefits will open. Cardo added that Nxesi also needs to be honest about whether UIF can honour its obligations.
Source: Briefly at https://briefly.co.za/69735-da-minister-thulas-nxesi-answer-crisis-uif.html