The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is continuing to make a difference to the lives of many people in South Africa, with timely cash injections, in the face of the pandemic's continuing impact, the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) said in a statement on May 29.
Since the special Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme was promulgated, more than three-million workers in the country have benefitted from R15.8-billion that has been paid out.
In some cases, where the details have been provided, 89 412 workers have been paid directly to the tune of R400-million, even though the claims were submitted by their 6 374 employers, said the DEL.
“This is a good story in the sea of hardships. This is a story of how a well-managed public insurance can rise to the occasion and, through timely interventions, make a real difference in the lives of workers in this country and their families.
“The UIF is now moving to capture payments for the month of May. In the past month, we found ways to improve our systems, ensuring that, going forward, we are able to pay [out funds] quicker.
"For example, if there are no changes in details provided previously, employers just need to make us aware and we will pay based on the information that we already have.
“This and the fact that we are encouraging more employers to provide banking details of the employees so that we can pay directly to their accounts will ensure quicker payments,” said DEL director-general Thobile Lamati.
The department highlighted that the UIF had also increased its payments to domestic workers.
The UIF also continued to pay ordinary benefits and has, since March 26, disbursed over R2.3-billion.
With the number of jobs to be shed as a result of the pandemic expected to accelerate, this means that more work will be done in this area to cushion workers from the worst effects of economic meltdown, said the department.
Lamati bemoaned the fact that a further 645 590 workers could have benefitted from a further R2.6-billion that the UIF is holding in abeyance had their correct details been furnished by just under 100 000 employers.
“Our records show that 97 374 employers need to furnish us with further information so that the UIF can make the necessary payments. This is over and above the 31 521 workers who have not received their money because of failed bank verifications.
"We appeal to the 3 102 employer organisations to ensure workers benefit from the R206-million that we are holding onto until we receive proper banking details,” Lamati emphasised.