UNIONDALE NEWS - The Uniondale Integrated Empowerment Project (Uniep) will have to pay back the Ters funds it had received from the Department of Employment and Labour, "subject to some employees (who had received payouts from the funds) confirming they were indeed employed during this period".
This is according to the department's provincial chief inspector, David Esau.
The George Herald last week reported on a media statement by the Labour Department to the effect that Uniep, a non-profit organisation from Uniondale, was being investigated for applying for and receiving almost R5-million from the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters).
According to the department, it had received a complaint that funds had been paid out to over 500 employees whose contracts of employment had been terminated on 25 March 2020, just before lockdown. This while the Ters fund is only for workers whose salaries have been affected by the lockdown period while they were still employed.
Furthermore, a number of workers had signed an agreement to the effect that a small percentage may be subtracted for administration costs.
According to the department, it would be laying fraud charges with the police.
Southern Cape police spokesperson Sergt Chris Spies on Wednesday 18 November said no such case has been opened.
Uniep has in the meantime accused the department of being pre-emptive in issuing a media statement claiming fraud. Uniep said that many of the issues raised by the department were "tenuous and pre-emptive" and were made without "even considering many of the submissions made to DOL, invalidating the negative assertions made in the media release".
Uniep had said that it was obtaining legal advice.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'