According to the latest information we have received from the Department of Employment and Labour, R1.8 billion of the Unemployment Insurance Fund Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (UIF TERS) funds have been disbursed to 615 188 employees in the Western Cape as of 10 May 2020. We are pleased to see that employees in the Western Cape are starting to receive much-needed financial support during the Covid-19 crisis.
Ensuring that businesses in the province are able to access and receive the support made available through the financial relief packages put in place for Covid-19, such as UIF TERS, is critical to ensuring the resilience of our economy, and maintaining the livelihoods of those living in the Western Cape.
And so, we encourage all businesses in the Western Cape to apply for the financial relief packages available, and we will work hard to assist them in this regard.
To assist businesses to find and access the financial support measures available, the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town and Wesgro have developed an online tool that, in five easy steps, helps businesses identify the support measures they qualify for based on their criteria. This support finder tool can be found at supportbusiness.co.za
Businesses who qualify and are battling to access the support can email our business support team at email@example.com for assistance.
In addition, we have taken a number of other steps to ensure that businesses are assisted to access financial relief packages available. These include:
- Weekly engagements with a broad range of business chambers and industry associations to share with them information about the support measures in place and encouraging their members to apply
- Hosting public webinars for businesses on the financial support measures available, which includes a session explaining UIF TERS. This webinar is available for public to view on YouTube.
It is also critical for us to understand whether or not these funds, and in this case the applications for the UIF TERS funds, are being processed in a timely manner, and if not, why not.
And so, we are directly liaising with the Department of Employment and Labour to address the challenges they are facing with regards to paying out the funds to approved beneficiaries.
I have also personally written to the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to request the following statistical information:
- How many applications for UIF TERS funding have been received from Western Cape,
- Of the applications, how many have been approved by your Department, and
- What are the total number of beneficiaries.
Furthermore, we are also conducting our own survey to understand how many businesses in the Western Cape have applied for the UIF TERS funding scheme, and which have successfully received funds, and which have not.
This statistical information, and the information from the survey, will help us understand where the challenges lie in the distribution of these funds, and how we can continue to help businesses in the Western Cape to access these funds. Where businesses have not received funds, our aim is to understand the reason for this and then identify the appropriate solution.
We are committed to doing everything we can to support businesses in the Western Cape so that we can save businesses, save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.