Thulas Nxesi won’t commit on Ters extension
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Cape Town - Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has reiterated that the public purse is under pressure from the growing number of unemployed people.
At the same time, Nxesi on Tuesday told MPs that he would not commit to whether the government would extend the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters).
Nxesi said the scheme had already paid R49.5billion to 5million workers.
He referenced the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his economic recovery plan to mitigate the unemployment rate.
Nxesi said the 800 000 jobs would be created in infrastructure projects as well as the hiring of 300 000 assistant teachers.
“The president consulted fully with all sectors in government and Nedlac. Implementation is going to be key in the issue of jobs. Let me raise this issue of UIF resources and the sustainability of the funds.
“Remember, Ters was not part of what was budgeted for. Initially, we budgeted R40bn for three months but we went beyond three months. We kept on recalling our investments which we made as UIF,” said Nxesi.
He said the liquidity and sustainability of the UIF was constantly under monitoring and review.
DA MP Michael Cardo said the UIF was fraught with corruption as wrong beneficiaries including dead people, prisoners and minors were irregularly paid millions of rand.
In his report a few months ago, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu made damning findings on Covid-19 corruption.
The IFP’s Xolani Ngwezi said they were concerned that there was no plan to deal with unemployment in the country.
Nxesi recently warned they were hot on the heels of those behind the looting of Covid-19 funds in the department during the lockdown period.
They were implementing the recommendations of Makwetu to nail the culprits and close loopholes in the system, while the Special Investigating Unit had frozen the bank accounts of some of those implicated.
The UIF was looted of millions of rand but some alleged perpetrators had been nabbed and faced fraud and corruption charges.
Some of those found by Makwetu to have been paid irregularly had been “double-dipping”, or receiving benefits from more than one source.