17 May 2021 - NW1024
Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour
Whether his department has done any investigations into the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme fraud relating to farmworkers specifically; if not, why not; if so, what (a) total number of farmworkers have been defrauded of their benefits by their employers and (b) steps has he taken to recoup the specified funds?
The Department of Employment and Labour has conducted two (2) investigations relating to farmworkers. These were at farms in the Western Cape Province. The findings are that (a) a total number of 194 farmworkers were defrauded of their benefits by their employers. The first employer deducted 5% of the COVID-19 TERS benefit claiming that it was to be used to cover bank charges and administrative costs. In the second investigation it was found that the employer should not have applied for the benefit as no employees were eligible as their contracts had expired and they were no longer in the service of the employer (b) Both incidents were reported to the SAPS and fraud cases were opened for further investigation and possible prosecution.