The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) says it has dispatched a task team to probe concerns at the Bellville Labour Centre.
People reportedly queued from the early hours of the morning and are often sent home without being assisted at the labour centre.
A task team from the UIF Head Office in Pretoria will intervene in UIF payment concerns, the department said.
Bellville South resident Gershwin Adonis said he was among those who struggled to get his application for unemployment benefits approved.
“On the first day I was standing at the back of the line, there were more than 50 people in the line in front of me. After I realised that I was not going to be assisted any time soon I left and I applied on their website. But I had so many difficulties with the website as there is no option to upload your documents. I tried to call them but their phone was not going through. I had to go back to the labour office. I spent the whole of last month trying to process the application and yet it still has not been approved,” he said.
UIF commissioner, Teboho Maruping said the task team will look into the concerns raised to establish the facts and submit a report to him within a week.
“It bothers me when I hear that workers are struggling to get what is due to them. Whatever the issue, it will be addressed. I will take it upon myself to see to it,” he said.
Community activist Anthea Josephus said residents had raised numerous concerns about the labour centre.
“People stand outside in the cold and rain. It is reported that the Department only assists a certain amount of people,” Josephus said.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) provincial secretary, Malvern de Bruyn said these types of issues persisted at many UIF offices around the country,
Meanwhile, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said the UIF was saddled with a backlog of more than 200 000 unprocessed claims for the payment of Covid-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme (Ters) benefit.
The payment of the outstanding payments was dependent on employers providing complete, accurate and corrected employees’ information to the UIF, Nxesi said.
Responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Traverse le Goff, Nxesi said there were a total of 215 557 claims across all the different lockdown periods that were unprocessed.
“These are all claims that have been processed, however, failed validations and verifications due to missing employee’s records/ information.
These Covid-19 claims are processed upon correction by employers,” he said.
“The timeframe of when all the applications will be paid is heavily dependent on employers providing complete, accurate and corrected employees’ information,” he said.
A total of 3259 employees are still waiting for payment since the start of the first month of the pandemic in March-April 2020.
Nxesi also said the UIF payments have a turn around to be finalised within three days.
“This turn-around is always achieved for over 95% of the payments. However, payments with outstanding information leverage delays and a guaranteed date to finalise such payments are difficult to commit,” he added.
Nxesi also revealed that there were UIF and Ters claims currently in the process of being audited and awaiting auditing.
A total of 1 646 966 UIF claims applications were lodged from 1 April 2023 to date and 138 337 Covid-19 (Ters) claims.
At least 10 644 Covid-19 Ters claims were allocated to the audit firms and 4 384 were audited so far. There were still 6 260 Ters claims that were still to be audited.