UIFIn a letter to the editor of Business Day, labour analyst and MP Michael Bagraim writes that with the Department of Employment & Labour (DEL) having sent out a protocol for people who test positive for the coronavirus and people needing to claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), thousands of those claims are going to be seen to come in hourly.  

He notes that already the UIF is battling with the weight of claims coming in daily, and it can be expected that this will multiple tenfold within days.  Bagraim reports that he has been involved in the retrenchment process of about 50 companies over the past two weeks and this is expected to multiply with the latest disaster management regulations.  He goes on to state:  “Three weeks ago, before the virus struck SA, I asked UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping whether he was ready for a deluge of claims.  He stated categorically that the UIF was more than able to manage a huge wave of claimants.  The acting director-general of the department of employment & labour echoed Maruping’s assurance and confirmed that officials had been forewarned.  Yet my understanding is that we are already starting to see system failure.  Let’s hope the department has had the foresight in the interim to bring more hands on board and to enhance its systems to withstand the tsunami that is already visible on the horizon.


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