R1.67bn paid from UIF to Western Cape workers
Cape Town - The National Department of Employment and Labour has paid out R1.67 billion from the UIF to workers in the Western Cape.
Labour Department deputy director-general for public employment services Sam Morotoba said: “The total number of employees covered in the province between March 26 and May 13, was 362 129.”
Morotoba was briefing the legislature’s ad hoc committee on Covid-19 about the assistance to employees, employers and other workers on labour-related issues and relief measures for essential workers from the department on Friday.
Morotoba said: “Nationally during the same time we received 167 000 applications covering about two million workers in total as of May 13 and paid out R11.9bn under the Covid-19 fund.”
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier told the Committee that the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, together with Wesgro, have been working around the clock from as early on as Monday 9 March 2020 when the Covid-19 response Economic Cluster was first formed.
Maynier said: “This has involved supporting the Disaster Management team and other departments like Health and Public Works to support immediate crisis needs. It included helping to facilitate the repatriation of thousands of tourists who were still in the Western Cape once the lock down was implemented.”
Maynier said: “Work of our economic cluster response has been divided into 7 focus areas including Risk-adjusted strategy, sector support & industry lobbying.”
“We have made various submissions directly to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, COGTA, and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, DTIC, including most recently a successful submission on opening the e-Commerce fully.”
Meanwhile, Acting Deputy Director-General for Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship Mzoxolo Maki, from the national Department of Small Business Development, DSBD, said: “DSBD is looking into means for assisting business owners in rural areas and townships with access to debt relief registration and application as well as delivery of food from local street vendors and chisanyamas. It is looking into using the South African Post Office for deliveries and distribution and have made agreements with Nedbank.”
Maki said: “KwaZulu-Natal had experienced particular success in taking advantage of the programmes available to spaza shops.
Maki said: “This is because KZN already had a pre-existing database of their spaza shops and were thus better able to take advantage of the opportunities than other provinces such as the Western Cape which had a lot of catching up to do on that front.”@MwangiGithahu