- Minister Lindiwe Zulu has revealed that some government employees may have applied for the Covid-19 social relief fund meant for the unemployed
- The Social Development Minister issued a warning that the state was coming for those in its ranks who had benefitted from the scheme
- Zulu made it clear that the government was determined to retrieve the funds illegally dished out to its own employees
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has revealed to Parliament that some government employees applied for the special Covid-19 grant meant for the unemployed.
Zulu warned that the government was hunting down employees who had benefitted from the scheme:
“The message to those people is that we will do everything to make sure that we get that money back."
Commenting on the disturbing situation, Zulu condemned state employees for taking advantage:
“I was the minister who went in public and said it is very annoying, actually, to find that there are people who are working for government, who know that they are receiving something, who are applying for the R350 grant, and they shouldn't have applied for the R350."
The minister said that, despite this scandal, very few people had managed to obtain approval for the grant:
“When you look at the 8 million applications and 5 million people that have been approved and have been paid, you can see that there is a very small margin of people that were able to penetrate into the system and get the R350.”
In response to MPs calling for action against those responsible for the oversight that allowed government employees to obtain the grant in the first place, Zulu defended her hard work in the department:
“One of the things that I know is that this Lindiwe Zulu hasn't done anything wrong in that space. This Lindiwe Zulu doesn't sleep … like all the other ministers, we don't sleep. We work day in and day out. We sit endlessly in meetings because we are committed in one thing and one thing only: serving the people of South Africa."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Auditor-General had released a report revealing that a number of irregularities had been found in Covid-19 relief distribution.
On the back of this report, Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi had revealed that the UIF TERS fund had also been subjected to looting by some beneficiaries, including deceased citizens.
Nxesi, in light of these findings, had suspended UIF management in order to allow for the Special Investigating Unit to probe the matter.
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