The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) said it will pay workers their relief Covid-19 Ters benefit until the end of June. 

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said the commitment to pay the Ters benefits till June, 2020 is per the initial Directive of March 26, 2020. 

This is because the payments were intended as a stop-gap measure for a period of three months or until such time that lockdown restrictions were eased and the economy slowly re-opened.

“The payments by the UIF should be seen in the context of government-wide basket of services and interventions to ease the burden of the coronavirus. In the process, and because this is unprecedented, a few mistakes occurred but detractors fail to see the magnitude of the work that has been done and the relief that it has brought to many people in our country,” Nxesi said. 

Nxesi said using the measure that one beneficiary is responsible for eight others, the amount of money that has been distributed has covered at least 14 million people in this round of May payments alone. 

“This is a real difference in the lives of workers and is evidence to government’s commitment to make a real difference,” Nxesi said.

He stated that eligible employers who have not yet received their payment will be paid according to the same benefits structure of the income replacement rate varying between 38% and 60%, once all the relevant documents and information has been received.

The department noted that as of June 24 2020, the Fund has paid R8.4 billion to 149120 employers who submitted applications on behalf of 2 037 458 employees. 

In total, UIF has disbursed close to R28 billion since 16 April 2020.

It says R770 million has been paid directly into the bank accounts of the workers instead of being paid through their employers even though the employers lodged the claims on behalf of workers.

The cumulative figure since April that has been paid as relief payments to domestic workers stands at R135 million while a total of R639 million has been paid to workers of foreign nationality.

The total benefits amount for ordinary claims has increased over the comparative period by 1.6% to R3.3 billion. Unfortunately, 965 751 employees have been unable to receive their benefits because of outstanding information from their employers. 

“This translates to R4.2 billion in payments that has not been paid out and a further 1197 employees have not been paid because the details were rejected by the banks and this amounts to R703 999.25,” Nxesi said.

The UIF-Ters benefit is not yet open, the department claims it is experiencing technical challenges.