The Democratic Alliance is calling upon the government to extend the UIF-TERS benefit in light of the extension of the adjusted Level 3 lockdown announced on Monday night.
Dr. Michael Cardo, the DA Shadow Minister of Employment and Labour, says: “The prolonged lockdown is devastating hundreds of businesses, many of them in the tourism, hospitality and liquor industries, which are either unable to operate or are only able to operate partially under increased restrictions.”
The Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief (TERS) scheme came to an end on 15 October.
Cardo says as at 15 December 2020, the UIF had disbursed roughly R56 billion in TERS benefits between March and 15 October 2020.
“We know there is still money in the UIF pot, although it has been significantly depleted.
“A written reply to a DA parliamentary question last year indicated that the UIF was sitting on a total investment portfolio of R114 billion as at 31 March, with R60 billion in liquid assets and R54 billion in illiquid assets.
“What is particularly galling is that it seems several members of the UIF’s suspended top brass are still sitting at home on full pay at a combined monthly cost of R450 551.
“They were suspended in September after the Auditor-General found there was a lack of proper financial controls at UIF.”
The DA called upon government to extend the TERS scheme for the duration of the lockdown and for Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to explain to the public the long-term financial sustainability of the UIF, and what action would be taken against officials found to have defrauded the fund.