LIMPOPO- Since May 15, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) processed and paid COVID-19 TERS relief payments to the tune of R836 603 171.68 benefitting 195 521 workers represented by 8 495 employers.
This bring to 2 288 295 the total number of workers who have been given relief during this lockdown which may be in lieu of or a top up to their salaries.
The total amount disbursed since April 16, 2020 is just a bit below R13-billion (R12 752 215 741.50).
“Of importance is that we have now started paying workers directly to their bank accounts not through employers only. What this means is that workers do not have to wait until employers transfer their benefits to their accounts. While the claim is submitted by the employer who would have all the information that is pertinent to make the payments, the actual payment goes straight to the account of the worker thus eliminating further waiting period” , said the Department of Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.
Nxesi added that this was as a result of the effort of the Department to be responsive to suggestions emanating from its stakeholders.
“The fact that this week we paid 45 547 employees in claims submitted by 5 975 employers to the tune of R211 –million directly means that we are fine-tuning our systems and improving on our response times with regard to payments.
“Already, we are at the stage where, if the application is complete, accurate and valid, at best the department will process payment within 24 hours and worst, in 48 hours. We are working hard to ensure that our systems respond to and accommodate the needs of our prime stakeholders – the workers,” Nxesi continued.
These improvements come at the back of further strides. For example, the call centre now has 500 agents who are handling up to 70 000 calls per day.
“We are now at a stage where 70 percent of those calls are attended to, on average, within three minutes. Again, we have listened to the anguished calls and we are making sure that our machinery is smooth and seamless to the extent possible.”