Companies urged to apply for UIF for their employees

More than 59,000 applications have been received from companies and over R3 billion paid out so far.

FILE: Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Picture: @deptoflabour/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – Government said it was concerned that employers were not applying for Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for their employees who had lost their income because of the lockdown.

However, more than 59,000 applications have been received from companies and over R3 billion paid out so far.

On Tuesday, Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said UIF continued to receive thousands of applications.

But some were asked to re-submit because of glitches.

“Some of the errors identified relate to incorrect banking details, making it impossible for payments to be processed.”

Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi said it was worrying that some employers had not registered their employees for the fund.

“They must just be honest. We don’t just pay; we pay based on the payroll which has been submitted by the employer with all the figures.”

Nxesi said people must also be aware that UIF only covers a portion of a person’s salary and not the full amount.


Government said it had approved about R235 million to help small businesses as it moved towards opening certain sectors of the economy.

Kubayi-Nyubani said it may take between six to eight months to reopen the industry based on government's risk adjusted approach to fighting COVID-19.

She said if government did not coordinate its response to the coronavirus, more jobs could be lost.

The country is set to move to a level four lockdown from Friday.

The minister said getting the economy working again would not be an easy task.

“The phased in approach will affect key economic sectors and drivers as well as promote human development and wellbeing.”

She said the tourism industry had been hit hard and would likely take years to recover.

“Travel bans, airline groundings, heightened restrictions to movement - not only across the borders but also within our country - has left tourism related activities non-existent.”

She said the money set aside to assist those affected during the pandemic had not yet been distributed because of a court case brought against government by AfriForum and Solidarity.