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Public Interest SA demands full investigation into ‘irregular’ R5bn UIF deal

Updated: Oct 21, 2023


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



PUBLIC INTEREST SA DEMANDS FULL INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED MISCONDUCT AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND (UIF)


Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, 8 October 2023 – Public Interest SA is deeply concerned by the recent reports in the Sunday Times, which have brought to light allegations of serious misconduct involving senior officials at the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Mthunzi Mdwaba, the former chair of Productivity SA. The allegations suggest improper and potentially criminal conduct in connection with the allocation of UIF funds intended to address high unemployment rates, particularly among South Africa's youth.


Productivity South Africa plays a crucial role in saving and creating jobs and relies on funding from organizations like the UIF. It is distressing to learn that these funds, which should be dedicated to the betterment of South African citizens, may have been misused or placed at risk of misuse or plunder.


Public Interest SA demands a thorough and expeditious investigation into these allegations of procurement misconduct. It is imperative that all those involved, including senior officials implicated in the Sunday Times report, are held accountable for their actions. We call upon relevant authorities to ensure a transparent and unbiased investigation into these matters.


The alleged irregularities surrounding the R5 billion UIF funds deal, the hasty establishment of Thuja Holdings, and the subsequent actions of UIF officials raise serious questions about the integrity of the process. Such conduct undermines the very purpose of these funds, which is to provide support to distressed companies and create employment opportunities for the disadvantaged.


We wholeheartedly extend our profound appreciation to the UIF officials who displayed unwavering commitment in resisting unrelenting internal and external pressures and thereby thwarted what could have been a catastrophic multi-billion Rand corruption scandal. Their actions align with our quest for ethical citizenship in South Africa.


Public Interest SA reaffirms its commitment to ethical citizenship and the pursuit of a better world for all South Africans. We believe that a fair and just society can only be achieved through the adherence to ethical principles and the responsible use of public resources.


We will closely monitor the developments of this investigation and continue to advocate for transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct in all sectors of our society. Our mission remains unwavering: to make South Africa a better place.


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ABOUT PUBLIC INTEREST SA | www.publicinterest.org.za


Public Interest SA is an organization dedicated to promoting ethical citizenship and advancing social justice in South Africa. Our mission is to foster a fair and just society by advocating for transparency, accountability, and the responsible use of public resources. We work tirelessly to make a positive impact on our community and contribute to a better world for all.


For further information or media inquiries, please contact: Cassandra Kau | media@publicinterest.org.za | 010 005 5884

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