South Africa News

WC calls for UIF Ters to be extended amid Covid-19 second wave

Several Western Cape government leaders have called for the extension of the Unemployed Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Employee/Employer Relief (Ters) fund because of the impact of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdown.

Mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said: “Businesses which managed to survive last year may not see out the next couple of months due to further lockdowns.

“I will take this issue up with the national government, urging them to make businesses and their employees a priority. This can be done by extending the UIF Covid-19 Ters scheme for the full duration of lockdown level 3.”

He said level three currently prevents the sale and transportation of alcohol, bringing many businesses to a complete halt. Other businesses in the hospitality industry are faced with reduced operating hours due to the early curfew of 9 pm.

Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier said: “We have received many emails from businesses and individuals, who have held on for the past ten months, but simply can’t continue to sustain their businesses or pay their employees with the current restrictions in place.”

He said it is simply not fair to expect tourism, hospitality, and liquor businesses to continue with limited operations or to even close during the peak summer season, without the necessary financial support to ensure they remain operational while retaining their staff.

“About R56 billion in UIF Covid-19 TERS payouts have been distributed for the period from the end of March to October 15, 2020. Additional payouts can be funded by the UIF’s total investment portfolio of R114 billion, as at 31 March, which includes R60 billion in liquid assets and R54 billion in illiquid assets,” said Maynier.

-Cape Argus

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