4000 employees impacted by July unrest paid relief

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says the Temporary Employer/ Employee Relief Scheme has paid out R14 million to employees impacted by the civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last year.

He said this when he tabled the department’s budget vote during a mini plenary of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“In response to the July riots, TERS funded another programme: Workers Affected by Unrest (WABU). To date, over 4 000 employees were paid the relief at an expenditure of about R14 million,” he said.  

Nxesi said more WABU payments will be made upon completion of the due diligence process.

The Minister said, meanwhile, that in response to the jobs crisis, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has created and saved jobs through investment with the Industrial Development Corporation to the tune of R5 billion over five years.

This as Stats SA announced in March this year that unemployment had risen by 0.4 percentage points to 35.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

“The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) through the UIF Fund has currently approved 41 qualifying transactions totalling R2.3 billion, of which R130 million was for companies in distress and relating to job preservation.

“These transactions support SMEs, black industrialists, women-owned companies and start-ups.”

Nxesi said through the UIF Labour Activation Programme (LAP), the department contributes to training of the unemployed as part of government initiatives to stimulate the creation of jobs in the labour market.

“For the 2022/2023 financial year, the UIF’s LAP has set aside a budget of R3.1 billion to fund the Training of the Unemployed, normal TERS, and Business Turnaround and Reengineering.

“LAP programmes facilitate the training of recruits, and the creation and sustaining of jobs.

“Through the Training of the Unemployed programme, the fund implements projects with implementing partners, with employment guarantees at the end of the term of the project.”

Nxesi said to this end, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has already absorbed over 14 000 participants from one of the projects funded through the Labour Activation Programme.

“The Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme provides support to distressed companies that seek to retain their employees.

“Under the scheme, the UIF funds 75% of an employee’s basic salary up to a maximum amount of R17 119 per month, for a maximum period of twelve months.”

Nxesi said the Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme is funded by the Unemployment Insurance Fund to provide support to enterprises facing economic distress and initiatives aimed at preventing job losses.

“Of importance is that the Labour Activation Programme has taken a strategic direction that training of the unemployed should be demand-led and lead to employment at the end of the training period. So, the employers and partners who participate in the programme commit to ensuring that the learners will be absorbed.

“In the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period, the LAP has planned for 75 000 participants in programmes that enhance their employability.” – SAnews.gov.za

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