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Nxesi assures S. Africans that UIF savings are protected

The minister said the UIF had budgeted R7.9 billion over the next three years to focus on jobs and training.

FILE: Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi delivers his department's budget vote before MPs in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @deptoflabour/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on Thursday reassured South Africans that their savings in the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) were safe.

Government has been increasingly relying on the fund and the Compensation Fund to finance its job creation programmes, as it desperately attempts to deal with the country’s high unemployment rate.

Nxesi said the UIF had budgeted R7.9 billion over the next three years to focus on jobs and training.

This was over and above the Social Responsibility Investment Fund, which was invested in what government called high impact job creation business ventures across all sectors. Close to R17 billion had been allocated to such investments to date.

Nxesi said workers had no reason to worry that the UIF was being overexerted.

“They must not think we are taking all that money and we are using it to create jobs, but we are saying is it is the money that is in the reserve fund, the little bit which we are taking,” he said.

His department was recently modified to include job creation as one of its mandates. Nxesi said they would leverage entities, such as the UIF and the Compensation Fund, to invest in job creation initiatives.

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