The Unemployment Insurance Fund has, as of Friday, disbursed R40-billion in COVID-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme disbursements to cushion the economic blow of the lockdown on workers as a result of the pandemic.

“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 said the disbursement of funds demonstrated a good South African story – a story of how a public entity managed to inject so much cash into the economy and thus helping it in one of the most trying periods.

While Nxesi expressed pride at the achievement, he reassured those still awaiting payment that the entity is making sure that all outstanding valid claims are paid as soon as all the information is received.

Minister Nxesi added that as part of the agreement at NEDLAC, the UIF will start this coming Monday to process the July and August claims while ensuring that the outstanding April and May and June claims are also speedily settled.

“This is a great achievement by all standards and I am proud that we could deliver when the country needed us,” he said.

The R40-billion has covered 9 087 133 payments to millions of workers through 779 429 companies that put in 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 as well as over R200-million 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.

“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,” said the Minister. –

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