Minister exposes R119m unlawful Covid-19 relief payments

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Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has revealed that more than R100 million in government Covid-19 relief funds has been paid to people who are not lawfully entitled to it.

Nxesi spoke in parliament on Monday, responding to questions related to the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme benefits.

According to IOL, Nxesi said R119.7 million has been paid to people who are not lawfully entitled to it. The money was paid out between April and November with R4 million allegedly going to a beneficiary with a UIF employee’s ID number.

In his parliamentary response on Monday, the minister said R441 000 was paid to deceased beneficiaries, R30 million to beneficiaries with invalid ID numbers and R88 million to individuals who receive a state pension grant. R129 000 was paid to prisoners and R224 677 to people under the legal age for employment.

Nxesi suspended five senior UIF officials in September, including commissioner Teboho Maruping related to fraudulent payments which are under investigation by the Auditor-General.