South Africa’s COVID-19 fund pays out R16, 5 billion

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Sandra Gama

THE Department of Employment and Labour says more than R16, 5 billion has already been paid out to employers and workers as part of the Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS).

The scheme is being administered by the department’s agency known as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). The UIF has vowed to speedily process and pay out all outstanding payments.

In its recent statement on Monday, the Department of Employment and Labour said the UIF is making good progress towards capturing the necessary data and processing COVID-19 relief benefit applications for the month of May.

“Payments this time around should be a lot quicker as the UIF already has the details for most of the claimants,” the Employment and Labour department said in its statement.

By I June 2020, more than R1 billion had already been processed for the payment for 252 378 workers whose jobs have been affected by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The workers are represented by 26 648 employers.

The UIF has also processed and paid out R 331, 5 million for 79 507 workers represented by 13 503 employers as part of the outstanding payments for April.

“As we indicated when we addressed the country last Friday (29 May 2020), we are committed to ensuring that the department through the UIF plays its role in shielding workers from the worst effects of the pandemic,” said Minister Thulas Nxesi.

“We are doing this by providing cash payments to workers who may have found themselves in the lurch as a result of lockdown. The payments have been significant in saving at least 3-million workers from poverty,” said the Minister.

A new enhanced system, which kicked into gear last week, will make it easy to resubmit claims as in cases where the information has not changed; the claim will be processed immediately on confirmation by the employer.

“But if information has changed, employers will still be required to capture employee’ details directly on the system or attach the CSV file.”

The following documents must be attached for the May submission:

  • Proof of TERS payment to employees for April such as electronic bank statement, a letter of acknowledgement of payment between employer and employee (Mandatory),
  • Re – upload employer bank confirmation letter or latest bank statement,
  • Signed approval or acceptance letter from the UIF for April payments between employer and employee, and
  • Proof of refund to the UIF attached if applicable.

“I have been assured that we would realise significant improvements in terms of payment turnaround time from claim submission. Already, with all the information supplied, the UIF was able to pay some claims in 24 hours at best or 48 at worst which is far more from when we started around April 16, “ said Minister Nxesi.

About 3.2 million workers represented by 279 111 employers have benefitted from the UIF’s R16.5 billion.

“Of this amount, R442 million has been paid through direct deposits to 99 269 workers’ bank accounts. The claims were submitted by 6 374 employers,” the Department said.

For further information, the public can log on to the department’s www.uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19  website or reach the UIF on the toll-free number 0800 030 007.

 

 

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