Unemployment Insurance Fund delays Covid-19 TERS payments to address AGSA audit findings
11 September 2020

The payments for the new and outstanding applications for the COVID-19 TERS relief benefits has been halted while the Department of Employment and Labour and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) improve controls as urged by the Auditor General of South Africa.

This temporary halt will enable the UIF not only to deal with the gaps identified by the AG but also offers the opportunity to ensure that some of the improvements that had already been identified by the management are effected.

"Whilst the AG has shown us a number of deficiencies in the payment of the COVID-19 TERS benefits, I must hasten to add that many of these deficiencies had been picked up already by management. Some had already been corrected in the June payments but we will continue to improve the systems so that it responds to needs of our beneficiaries and make the payments effective and efficient," said Marsha Bronkhorst, the acting UI Commissioner.

Bronkhorst added that the UIF has taken a number of steps to address the systemic challenges that we had with regard to the payments.

"First of these is that we have entered into a Memoranda of Understanding with a number of government institutions to make sure we get access into their updated databases. These include institutions such as the South African Social Security Agency, National Students Financial Aid Scheme and the Department of Home Affairs. These departments and institutions are currently busy verifying the UIF database to ensure payments reach the correct persons.

"Secondly we have updated our system to make sure that the bank verification happens quicker and these include verifications for schools, NGOs etc. We are also working hard currently in improving our COVID-19 TERS application portal to make sure that to the extent possible, it becomes a self-service portal to make it easy for employers and employees," she said.

Bronkhorst is upbeat that the system should be up and ready to help workers as soon as possible to provide financial relief especially to those who are still under lockdown conditions.

The acting Commissioner pointed out that despite the challenges they are working hard to resolve, the UIF has delivered in the face of great need.

"To date the UIF has received just over 1 104 000 applications for the payment of COVID-19 TERS benefit and we have paid 825 840 of these. These payments equate to the just under R42-billion which has been disbursed in 9 501865 payments to workers around the country.

"As soon as the improvements are finalised, we will be in a position to ensure that workers of this country are provided a cushion to make their lives easier," she said.

For those who defrauded the system, the law will take it’s course. "There are already some cases that we have brought to the SAPS for investigation and prosecution – 35 out of a total of 146. This also serves as a notice to those who may have intentions to try and defraud the system. Not only will it be harder to do so, but even if they do succeed, the law will eventually get them and they will pay for stealing from the workers," she said.

In addition, the SIU has started with it’s investigation into fraudulent claims and action will be taken against all found involved in fraudulent activities. 

For media enquiries contact:

Makhosonke Buthelezi

Director UIF Communication & Marketing

071 491 7236




Teboho Thejane

Departmental spokesperson

082 697 0694



"Our actions are key to stopping the second wave of Covid-19 spread. Wear your mask, wash hands regularly and keep maintaining the social distancing"



Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour