More than 220,000 South Africans may be missing out on nearly R1 billion in cash, the UIF says

Business Insider SA
  • More than 220,000 South African workers may be in line to receive nearly R1 billion in combined payouts, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) says – but it lacks the information to give them their cash.
  • That is not counting employees whose bosses have not yet applied for special Covid-19 funding.
  • The UIF has now paid out more than R2.2 billion in relief linked to the novel coronavirus and the associated lockdown.
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More than 220,000 South African workers may be due a total not far from R1 billion, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) said on Friday – but it doesn't have the necessary information to send them their cash.

The UIF has been rapidly paying out Covid-19 benefits under the Temporary Employer / Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), but not everything has been going smoothly.

Those employees, 220,768 of them to be precise, were either not found in the UIF system or their employers did not provide enough information for their payments to be processed, the UIF said.

See also | Covid-19 UIF pay: Firms are receiving millions, but some are unsure how much to pay each worker

On average, if eligible, each would receive around R4,200.

Employers have been sent notifications in cases where details were lacking, the UIF said.

Under TERS, employers apply for benefits and receive the money, then pass that on to employees who lost income due to shorter working hours, forced leave, or for other coronavirus-related reasons.

See also | Payouts of up to R6 700 per month: This is what workers in struggling firms could get from govt

In some cases payments are via other structures, such as bargaining councils, and in some instances payment is made directly to employees.

Only companies that were registered with the UIF by mid-March qualify, but the potential claimants include everyone from spaza shop assistants to domestic workers.

The UIF believes many potential recipients have not had applications for Covid-19 relief made on their behalf.

See also | Claiming money from the UIF: Everything you need to know

Even so, the UIF says it has already paid out R2.2 billion in Covid-19 benefits, compared to less than R900 million in the normal benefits it deals in. 

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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