UIFNews24 reports that the reality of a 21-day lockdown hit many hard on Thursday as they rushed to queue for unemployment benefits, ID documents, birth certificates and other essentials.  

The Cape Town Labour Centre was inundated as hundreds stood queuing to hear whether they would get some relief from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) after being told their places of work would shut down and they would not be paid.  "I’ve been here since half past five in the morning just for UIF and I’m worried whether I am going to get this money or not.  It seems like they’re ignoring us because no one came to us to explain, and the line is not moving," said a frantic restaurant worker.  Many travelled from outside of Cape Town to the CBD as their local centres were crammed to capacity and unable to serve everyone.  Government has allocated R30 billion to a special National Disaster Benefit Fund, which will pay UIF benefits for up to three months for those who have lost income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  The monthly payment will be up to R3,500.  A UIF spokesperson advised that all their regional offices would be closed during the lockdown.  Only staff at the head office would be working.


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page