Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has urged employers across the country to play their role by assisting their employees to claim from the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme.
Nxesi said this was posing a challenge as 220,000 workers are entitled to claim from the scheme but have not done so. However, he said the department was now endeavouring to contact those individuals who are entitled to make these claims.
The minister appealed to all employers and those who “have not even dared to help their employees” to work with government during this period.
Nxesi clarified that the department did not pay a lump sum to companies that have applied for the funds but paid money based on the payroll and all relevant figures submitted by the employer.
Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane, minister of tourism and the chair of the government economic cluster, had said that to date, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has received just over 103,000 applications from employers representing an estimated 1.75 million employees.
UIF has over 1.8 million employers registered on its database representing more than 8 million workers, the minister said.
She said of all applications the UIF has received, 59,000 employers applications have been processed, which means 862 employees will receive their benefits.
Due to errors, about 10,000 applications could not be processed and the affected companies have been notified, the minister said.
She said the errors included incorrect banking details, which meant payments could not be processed.
The minister said the UIF was working around the clock to meet the increased demand during the period and that the fund’s call centre has increased its capacity from 75 agents, to 400 agents.
More call centre agents will be added should the need arise, she said.
The ministers were on Tuesday briefing the media on the socio-economic relief interventions on Covid-19.
Government has dispersed R3.3 billion in UIF claim benefits as relief for the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.