Claims for more than 4 000 dead people were received by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for Ters benefits.
And that was just in April and May.
Teboho Maruping, commissioner of the fund, released those figures in a statement on Monday.
Maruping says the UIF was rightly arrested because he did not “always pay on time”, but he also says that care had to be taken that the system was not abused.
“We understand the frustration that some people have experienced, but with all the different applications, it is absolutely essential that we ensure that deserving people receive the money.”
The UIF says that by this time it has already paid out about R31 billion out of 6.9 million applications.
Employers could claim Ters benefits (temporary employment relief scheme) on behalf of their employees for salaries for April, May and June.
The UIF says that as it is now finalizing the project, it has found that there are “certain elements” that are trying to obtain payments in “fraudulent” ways.
“For example, it has turned out that some companies claim on behalf of people who have died and also with fraudulent ID numbers or with ID numbers that do not exist,” the statement read.
This is how he became aware of the 4,000 claims for dead people.
The UIF says it also received about 50,000 “invalid” ID numbers in April and 43,176 in May.
In the same period, he received 106,488 and 84,278 applications, respectively, with ID numbers that did not exist at all.
Maruping says the UIF’s system is designed to check claims with information it receives from the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
Another reason given by the UIF about why it was slow with payments was because a large number of employers simply never registered their employees with the fund.
The employer must have been registered with the fund by 15 March to be able to submit claims.
However, the UIF found that it had received 171,393 applications in April and 113,856 in May, where it had no evidence that employees were indeed employed by the employer concerned.
Employers were allowed to update the information by submitting either a statement from SARS or a copy of their payroll.
The UIF says it is still struggling to get evidence from all these employers that shows that all employees who were demanded did make a contribution to the fund, as required by law.
The UIF says there was also a rule that employees who already receive money from the fund could not claim additional from Ters.
He says that despite this rule, he still received 21,601 claims in April and 12,641 in May from employees who are already receiving benefits because they have either lost their jobs or are currently on maternity leave.
Maruping says claims for June salaries can still be filed. It takes at least 48 hours before the money is paid directly into employees’ bank accounts.
Even though the UIF is trying to pay out all valid claims as soon as possible, there are still numerous complaints that this is not the case.
The employers’ organization Neasa conducts a daily survey to determine how many employers who have applied have already received payments.
According to their latest statistics, 13% of employers who claimed benefits had not yet received payment from the UIF for claims submitted for April’s salaries by 20 July.
Of the 87% who did receive payments for this month, only 60%’s claims were paid in full.
By May, the situation had worsened with 26% of employers not yet receiving payment.
Of the 74% who did receive payments for this month, only 59%’s claims were paid in full.
As of June, 88% of employers have not yet received any payment.
Of the 12% who did receive payments for this month, 68%’s claims were paid in full.