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UIF mobile App on the cards

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In a bid to curb snaking queues, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will soon launch a mobile app that could be used at no cost

It is hoped that the UIF mobile App and Free USSD platform to be launched soon would see snaking queues outside department of labour centres as it had been since the national lockdown which saw many lose their jobs and having to claim UIF. Captured in the picture are queues outside the Pinetown labour office just after the national lockdown. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

Durban – FOR the past year snaking queues at Department of Labour centres were a common sight as people claimed from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) after losing their jobs.

However, in a bid to curb the queues, the fund will soon launch a mobile app that could be used at no cost.

Queue marshals will also be appointed to man the queues and to ensure that people practise social distancing.

This is according to UIF spokesperson Lungelo Mkamba, who said the fund would soon be launching a zero-rated mobile app as well as a free Unstructured Supplementary Service Data platform that would allow their clients to have access to services from anywhere at no cost.

“We will be launching these platforms very soon and we are optimistic that they will help reduce the queues at the labour centres.”

Expanding on this, Department of Labour official in Durban, Simenyiwe Mchunu, said that to mitigate long queues, they were currently separated according to the requirements of those waiting in them.

He said the queues consisted of people coming in to collect forms, while others were there to drop off payment forms.

“There are people coming in to enquire, while others come in to apply. Dropping and collecting a form only requires you to be there for a few minutes. With the line separated they get there, drop off or collect, and then leave, making queues shorter,” he said.

He said there was an existing SMS function that informed clients of progress on their applications.

“This limits the number of people visiting the labour centres to enquire. The Pinetown office is in the process of recruiting at least three queue marshals. Currently, the queues are being marshalled by staff who are employed there,” Mchunu said.

He said the additional capacity that was being given by the UIF would be adding to measures that were already in place.

Mchunu was speaking at a press briefing where UIF deputy director in Durban, Gugu Khomo, provided an update on ordinary UIF payments since April 2020 until February this year.

“Our interventions were that engaged employers and sent teams to premises for collection of documents and capturing of the applications, we have also established a rapid response team to assist with backlogs,” Khomo said.

She added that from April to February 2021 they received just over R134 000 claims for ordinary UIF benefits, and 120 375 these had been finalised.

“In KZN from April to date we have managed to pay R1.9 billion in normal UIF. In total nationally it was R12.8bn, making KZN third with the Western Cape second and Gauteng first,” she said.

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