13 November 2023
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urges the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to urgently release and act on the forensic audit into the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the irregular attempts to pickpocket R5 billion of workers’ monies from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to Thuja Capital.
The Federation like all other sober persons was shocked earlier this year by the underhanded attempts to siphon R5 billion of workers’ hard-earned funds from the UIF to a seemingly get rich scheme by Thuja Capital. We welcome the Minister for Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi’s appointing a forensic audit into this shameful failed deal. It is critical this report now be released to the public and that its recommendations on action to be taken against persons found wanting inside and outside the state be effected.
It is not enough for alleged corrupt or illegal activities to be stopped. Those who are accused need to the full legal consequences for their actions. We cannot expect to change an endemic culture of corruption and criminality if we are to continue to treat those found wanting with kid gloves.
COSATU welcomes commitments by the Minister to overhaul the Unemployment Insurance Fund, to ensure that workers can apply for with ease and receive their monies timeously; that workers and employers’ contributions are safely invested and used to protect workers when they have lost their jobs or wages, are on maternity or parental or adoption leave; and that these funds are invested in legitimate investments that create jobs and benefit workers and are not used to line the pockets of amoral individuals.
This long overdue modernisation and cleansing of the UIF needs to begin as a matter or urgency. Expert assistance from the South African Revenue Service and the Government Technical Advisory Centre needs to be roped in to help ensure that the UIF is rebuilt, ready to serve workers, efficient and transparent, and protected from the cancer of corruption. The days of allowing a corrupt elite to feast at the expense of workers need to come to an end.
Issued by COSATU
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Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
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