Limpopo Ranks Second in COVID-19 TERS Fraud Cases - Mega Artists Media

Limpopo Ranks Second in COVID-19 TERS Fraud Cases

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) revealed that Limpopo ranks second in the nation for the monetary value of suspected COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) fraud cases.

Allan Ragavaloo, the UIF’s director of provincial support, disclosed that out of the 197 companies audited in Limpopo, six were identified for suspected fraud.

“The UIF found that redundant companies that were no longer operating were used by fraudsters who used ID numbers obtained from either a database of people who used to be employed as part of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP), access control registers from various places, or from scams where people were promised jobs in return for the submission of their ID numbers,” said Ragavaloo.

Since the inception of the COVID-19 TERS scheme, Limpopo has disbursed over R16 billion to 477,199 employers and employees. The top 10 sectors benefiting from TERS include personal services, trade, mining, building, agriculture, educational services, iron, air, and food sectors.

As part of the project, UIF has appointed seven auditing companies to verify the payments. Phase one and two of the audit verified R28 billion of the R64 billion paid out. Only R11 billion reached the intended recipients, indicating at least R3 billion remains in employer bank accounts.

Ragavaloo assured workers awaiting TERS payments that the UIF is reviewing previously rejected employer applications.

He said key reasons for the rejections were employer non-declarations, invalid banking details, incorrect income, identity or passport numbers that cannot be verified, sector appeals, and risk factors that were identified by the UIF system.

“The UIF is still paying out Covid-19 TERS applications and will continue to do so until all competent applications are processed. I wish to advise though that we are not taking on any new applications. The Covid-19 TERS applications that were previously rejected are currently being reviewed.  We will communicate with employers and employees to give guidance and to allow them an opportunity to make right what has caused delays to their applications. Only once an application has met all UIF qualifying factors, then payouts will be effected,” said Ragavaloo.

Employers and employees seeking corrections to their TERS applications can use the ufiling platform or contact the UIF through WhatsApp at 067 411 0240.

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