Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) commissioner Teboho Maruping says R3.4-billion has been voluntarily returned to it by employers that irregularly benefitted from the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).
The first phase of the UIF's Follow the Money project determined that R14.1-billion was disbursed through Covid-19 TERS, of which R12.8-billion was deemed as accurate payments.
The audit process of the Follow the Money project entails checking whether an employer exists, verifying that workers are employed by the company that claimed funds and ensuring proof that the Covid-19 TERS monies reached the intended beneficiaries at the right time.
The audit also checked the accuracy of the claims information, whether information used on the application was not manipulated and whether Covid-19 TERS monies were abused or misused by employers.
Further, the UIF has appointed six forensic auditing firms to conduct Phase 2 of the Follow the Money project, which starts in July and is expected to conclude within 12 months, UIF governance deputy director Smiso Nkosi said.