The Unemployment Insurance Fund has to date distributed R40-billion in COVID-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme payments to help ease the economic impact of the national lockdown on South Africa’s affected workers.
“Today we reached that magical figure that we committed to make the lives of workers in the country easier by injecting hard cash into the economy through disbursements to our contributors. We made a commitment of R40-billion and I am happy today to say we have kept our promise.
“But this is not all. As we have committed to an extension of the scheme until August 15 as a result of the change of the disaster period, this means that in the end, we would have paid much more than we promised,” said Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi.
The Minister says that the distribution of funds told a good South African story – a story of how a public entity managed to inject so much cash into the economy therefore helping it through one of the most trying periods.
While Nxesi expressed pride at the achievement, he assured those still awaiting payment that all outstanding valid claims will be paid as soon as all the information has been received and processed.
Minister Nxesi went on to say that, as part of the agreement at NEDLAC, the UIF will begin to process July and August claims while also making sure that outstanding April, May and June claims are settled as soon as possible.
“This is a great achievement by all standards, and I am proud that we could deliver when the country needed us,” he said.
To date, the R40-billion has completed 9 087 133 payments to millions of workers through 779 429 companies that submitted claims on behalf of workers and has been broken down like this:
- For April, so far, a total of R20-billion has been paid for a total of 4 041 839 workers through 389 233 employers.
- The payments for May month stand at just under R11-billion (R10.9-billion) for the benefit 2 704 763 workers through 168 089 employers.
- In June, the UIF has so far disbursed just under R9-billion (R8.6-billion) to the hands of 2 340 531 workers represented by 168 089 employers.
Of the payments made, R1.5-billion was paid directly to the employees, R1.5-billion paid to documented and declared foreign nationals who have made South Africa their working home, and R200-million had been paid to domestic workers.
“This is a cause for celebration. It is also a cause for reflection that will allow us to find better ways to serve the people in this country. Under the most trying of circumstances, we have been able to rise to the occasion. Where there were mistakes, we have corrected them and are continually ensuring that we improve,” said the minister, adding that this is also a good reflection on the NEDLAC as a function for a social parliament – bringing together labour, government, business and community.
“The discussions have been robust but we all have had one objective in mind – to improve the lives of the people in our country and to ensure that we mitigate the worst of the pandemic,”.