The DA is calling on the government in the employment and labour department to involve private sector service providers in processing payment of Covid-19 claims submitted to the embattled Compensation Fund.
DA MP Michael Cardo says the party calls on Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi to involve the private sector as the compensation fund will be put under immense pressure as the country goes into the eye of the Covid-19 storm.
Without the assistance of the private sector, Cardo claims the Compensation Fund is likely to drop the ball spectacularly on Covid-19 Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) claims.
“The Compensation Fund, which has a long and undistinguished history of inefficiency, maladministration and financial mismanagement is going to buckle under the weight of claims.
“The huge challenges faced by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) in administering the Covid-19 Ters benefit over the past three months – which challenges the UIF still hasn’t overcome – tell a cautionary tale.
“The Compensation Fund is in a much worse state of health than the UIF. Institutionally, it is far less robust than the UIF. In fact, compared with the Compensation Fund, the UIF runs like a Swiss watch.”
The party wants government to outsource its functions to a private-sector medical aid insurance provider.
“Even before the advent of Covid-19, the Compensation Fund was failing miserably to process and pay claims. In October 2019, the Compensation Fund migrated to a new electronic system, called CompEasy. But the new website used to report accidents and lodge claims has been serially dysfunctional.
“The Compensation Fund’s delays in paying valid claims (and rejecting claims unfairly) have been described by a high court judge as ‘a textbook example of an abuse of the Court process’.”
This dire situation is about to get exponentially worse as more and more claims come the way of the Compensation Fund.
“The minister of employment and labour should come clean on whether he has engaged any private medical aids or insurance providers to assist the Compensation Fund in processing and paying Covid-19 COIDA claims. If he hasn’t, he should do so post-haste,” maintains Cardo.