SIU recoups R71 million in improper TERS scheme perks

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May 24, 2023
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May 24, 2023
Recovered abandoned vehicle
May 24, 2023
Applications open
May 24, 2023

SIU recoups R71 million in improper TERS scheme perks

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered at least R71 million from companies
that unduly claimed from the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Temporary
Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).

This was after the corruption busting unit commenced investigations into TERS funding
in June 2021.
“The SIU was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations made
in respect of the affairs of the UIF in terms of Proclamation R.8 of 2021.

The SIU investigated TERS payments to persons who were not entitled to receive such
payments; submitted false, irregular, invalid or defective applications to the UIF,
including the causes of such maladministration,” an SIU statement read.
The government set up TERS to assist struggling companies during the COVID-19
pandemic.

“To date, the SIU has recovered cash to the value of approximately R 71.4 million since
it commenced with investigations. The figure includes R 9.9 [million] that was paid
directly to the UIF by companies.
“Some of the companies that paid money directly to UIF include South African Airways
Technical, which paid back R8.8 million and RH Matjhabeng Hospital, a private hospital
in Free State province, among others.

The hospital paid back R488 458.21.

“The SIU investigation revealed that the hospital was not supposed to have applied and
received TERS funds as their operations were not affected by COVID-19. The hospital
management confirmed that it unduly received the funds and agreed to pay back the
money to the SIU. Immediately after an agreement was reached, the hospital deviated

from the agreement held with the SIU and paid back the money directly into the UIF
account instead of the SIU,” the unit said.

The SIU said it has referred any evidence of criminality to the National Prosecuting
Authority (NPA) for possible prosecution.

“On 27 February 2023, the East London Magistrate Court sentenced Zimbabwean
citizen, Admirer Sibanda to one-year imprisonment and ordered that after serving the
prison sentence he be deported by the Home Affairs department to his country of origin.

Sibanda pleaded guilty to the identity theft charge, which was used to commit TERS
fraud,” the SIU said. –