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Coronavirus - South Africa: Minister of Labour T.W. Nxesi conducts walkabout at the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Labour Centre that is handling massive number of claims related to COVID-19

Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information Download logo

The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health care crisis to a financial one, closing non-essential businesses, leading to job losses, and sending economies to recession worldwide. Many South Africans are filing for unemployment insurance fund and compensation fund.

Due to the influx of calls at UIF Call Centre by laid-off workers and employers in distress, UIF Call Centre was experiencing system failures. Working with Harambee the UIF Call Centre has now been expanded and new recruits have been brought on board to handle as many calls for claims as possible.

The current Call Centre telephone system can handle one hundred calls, and due to large volumes of calls, the lines are often busy resulting in calls unable to go through. The UIF is beefing up its telephone system to handle a minimum of 350 calls.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has launched COVID-19 temporary employee relief scheme (Ters), which provides income support to workers who have been temporarily or permanently sent home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme provides funds to distressed companies unable to pay the full salaries of workers who are permanently laid off or sent home temporarily due to Covid-19 and the shutdown. So far, about R30-billion has been set aside for this.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.