Labour Department lifts delay of COVID 19 TERS following investigation

Unemployment Insurance Funds has been lifted the delay of Covid19 TERS benefit payments after the auditor-general was looking into matters regarding the funds, which funds the TERS system.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has resumed payments of the Covid-19 TERS Benefits after a 24-hours delay which was necessitated by the need to address some control deficiencies in the Covid TERS online payment system.

In a statement, the Department of Unemployment and Labour said this is the usual step whereby if the UIF picks up problems whether in relation to governance or to further stress-test and enhance the system, the payments get suspended to deal with the matter at hand for a certain period.

The department explained that as part of a wider Covid-19 audit in state organs, the Unemployment Insurance Fund was also subjected to an audit by the Auditor General of South Africa.

The AGSA team had observed some control deficiencies and anomalies in the system, which prompted us to delay payments in order to address them, added the department.

“The suspension of payments is not a new thing to the Fund. We do it all the time when we pick up certain anomalies that increase risk or expose us to potential fraud. There are instances where at the behest of our Internal Audit and Risk Management Units, we have stopped payments to certain companies when certain deficiencies had been identified. This is part of our governance framework.

“Therefore, as the AG performs its own audit and they make certain observations we address them on the spot, and sometimes we have to stop our activities to correct the situation as we did with the 24-hour suspension,” said Teboho Maruping, the UIF Commissioner.

Maruping added that he recognized the possible negative impact this might have had on millions of workers who rely on the CovidTERS Benefit for income.

“As the UI management, we recognized and acknowledge the possible negative impact this might have on millions of workers who depend on these cash injections. That is why we would like to appeal to our contributors to bear with us because these intermissions are designed to make the Fund stronger so that it can continue doing its work of providing sustenance to workers in their time of need,” he said.

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