The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) says the granular details of the extension to the COVID-19 TERS benefits, as announced in the State of the Nation Address last night, is to be discussed and finalised among the social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC).
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the UIF will be extending the COVID TERS benefits from 16 October 2020 to 15 March 2021.
“The granular details about who the extension will be applicable to will be discussed and finalised by social partners at NEDLAC. An announcement will be made in that regard once the details have been finalised,” said the fund in a statement on Friday.
It said it is envisaged that sectors that are not fully operational since the beginning of the lockdown will require and may receive assistance. These include the tourism, hospitality, liquor industry and related sectors within that value chain.
The UIF will announce the opening of the system for the new period once the work to configure its systems is complete, and provide guidelines to assist users with the application process.
“The fund will continue to process and pay valid and complete outstanding COVID TERS benefit claims that are already in the system. The fund continuously re-processes claims already in the system so that those that have been corrected and have passed validations can be paid when payment re-runs are conducted,” it said.
So far, the fund has paid close to R60 billion since March last year and this have been done in 13 million iterated payments. The initial budget was R40 billion.
This social assistance from the Department of Employment and Labour forms part of the overall government response to fighting the worst effects of COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that as a result of the closure of the economy, workers are not left destitute.