Home South African UIF to pay billions in outstanding Covid-19 Ters benefits

UIF to pay billions in outstanding Covid-19 Ters benefits


The UIF says it will be paying outstanding claims for the period between April and September 2020 this week.

File picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

THE UNEMPLOYMENT Insurance Fund (UIF) will pay outstanding Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) funds this week to millions of qualifying workers around the country, including validated foreign employees.

The UIF says it will be paying outstanding claims for the period between April and September 2020 this week and has started processing payments also to foreign nationals who have been validated by the Department of Labour and the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

In terms of the Ters claims for the September/October period, the UIF said it had begun the process of paying out over R1 billion to over 270 000 workers from over 22 000 employers. It said submissions for this period would shut on December 31 and there would be no further applications beyond this year.

In September, Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi announced the suspension of UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping and the entire management due to allegations of fraud and mismanagement of Covid-19 relief funds after a report by the late Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu highlighted a litany of potential fraudulent activity in the use of the relief funds both in terms of procurement processes and the disbursements of Ters by the UIF.

The UIF’s acting commissioner, Marsha Bronkhorst, said the state agency had been re-running outstanding payments for months.

“The fund has been sporadically re-running claims for the previous months, but this time we have decided to recycle all claims to ensure that those that have updated declarations and discrepancies are paid when we re-run the payments.

“We have dedicated the entire week to re-run payments for a period between April to September 2020, and we shall repeat for all lockdown period on Saturday, 19 December to try clear the backlog as far as we possibly can so that beneficiaries will not suffer during this festive season,” said Bronkhorst.

He said key staff in the operations, ICT and finance units had been postponed to allow the UIF to be able to fast-track payments

“Officials at senior management and those processing and paying claims will not be going on leave except for the mandatory shutdown period from 24 December 2020 to 1 January 2021, which is used for systems maintenance.

“The decision to postpone annual leave for some of our officials was not taken lightly, but is being implemented to ensure that we continue to process and pay claims to our beneficiaries to enable them to meet their financial obligations and support their families during the festive season,” said Bronkhorst.

Meanwhile, the UIF has advised companies who made Covid-19 Ters claims via CSV file for April to 15 September periods, and where “no employees” appears on the online portal, to assume that their CSV file was incorrectly formatted.

Employers were called upon to re-submit their claims with a complete Excel template document for the period in question and to e-mail the document to [email protected]

It said employers should ensure that the e-mail subject line should clearly specify on the subject line, the period in question and called for only one e-mail attachment per e-mail.

The UIF said it would then convert the file to a CSV format, conduct necessary checks and an audit of the application, before processing the application from December 14.

To date, the UIF has paid R55.6bn in 12.9 million payments to 1.1 million applications from employers since March, including over R2bn paid to over 490 000 foreign employees.