A group of young people clean up at Bridge city in Kwamashu after the unrest. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng African News Agency (ANA)
A group of young people clean up at Bridge city in Kwamashu after the unrest. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng African News Agency (ANA)

Relief for KZN and Gauteng workers affected by unrest as temporary scheme opens on Wednesday

By Karen Singh Time of article published Aug 22, 2021

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DURBAN - The Workers Affected by Unrest (Wabu) temporary financial relief scheme will start accepting applications on Wednesday.

The Department of Employment and Labour announced that the Unemployment Insurance Fund would start accepting Wabu applications from August 25.

Department acting spokesperson Musa Zondi said the financial relief scheme had been established to assist workers whose workplaces were closed due to recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulting in workers receiving partial remuneration or no pay.

“The relief will be paid at a flat rate of R3 500 to ensure that the UIF envelope is stretched to cover all affected workers.

“The benefit is de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefits, therefore the normal rule that for every four days worked, the employee accumulates a one-day credit, and the maximum credit days’ payable is 365 for every four years, does not apply. This will enable workers who have no credits to receive financial support while their workplaces are in the process of rebuilding or reopening,” said the department.

Zondi said payment would be made directly into the worker’s bank account unless the UIF Commissioner specifies the conditions under which payments can be made into the employer’s account.

“We urge employers to ensure that banking details of employees are correct and that they are also declared on our database to avoid delays with payments,” said acting UIF Commissioner advocate Mzie Yawa,

According to the recently published directive, employers will be required to apply on behalf of affected workers, and they will have to meet the following qualifying conditions:

  • the employer will have to register or be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund;
  • the employer’s closure must be directly linked to the destruction, damage or looting of its workplace;
  • the employer must provide details of the destruction, closure, or damage to, or looting of, its workplace and submit documentary proof of a report to the South African Police Services, with proof that a case has been opened by providing a case number, and, if insured, proof of submission and acknowledgement of receipt of the insurance claim.
  • the employer must confirm in writing or electronically that – he/she accepts the terms of the scheme herein and any procedure document issued by Unemployment Insurance Fund, and
  • submit any other information that the minister or UIF commissioner may require to assess eligibility of claim.

Employers would be required to submit claims via the TERS Online portal once the system goes live on Wednesday at midnight.

THE MERCURY

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