The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) ‘miraculously’ escaped a disclaimer when it landed a qualified audit opinion for the 2021/22 financial year, says a report in The Mercury.

AG Tsakani Maluleke was unable to obtain sufficient audit evidence that benefit payments for the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) for the year under review and the previous years were properly accounted for due to the status of the accounting records.

‘I could not confirm the amount of benefit payments for the Covid19 TERS by alternative means as the public entity’s records did not permit the application of alternative audit procedures. Consequently, I was unable to determine whether any adjustments were necessary to Covid-19 TERS benefit payments stated at R3.08bn (2021: R57.4bn) in note 20 to the financial statements,’ Maluleke said.

She also said she was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence for unemployment benefit payments as the public entity did not implement effective systems of internal control to maintain proper accounting records.

‘I could not confirm the amount of unemployment benefit payments by alternative means as the public entity’s records did not permit the application of alternative audit procedures. Consequently, I was unable to determine whether any adjustments were necessary to unemployment benefit payments stated at R15.2bn in note 20 to the financial statements,’ the AG said.

Maluleke also said she was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to substantiate the amount recognised as unlisted financial instruments, interest in joint ventures and investments in associates.

Full report in The Mercury