DA welcomes UIF’s approach to SARS over Covid-19 Ters benefit

21 April 2020 issued by Dr Michael Cardo MP – DA Shadow Minister for Employment and Labour

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) will help the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to process and pay the Covid-19 Ters benefit.

Given the backlogs, administrative paralysis and bureaucratic imbroglio at the UIF, the involvement of SARS is necessary and urgent. Without it, many workers will not be paid at the end of the month, and their families will go without food.

The DA’s only regret is that SARS did not step in sooner. As it is, the risk of many employees not receiving any monies from the UIF by the end of the month is still unacceptably high, and this will lead to a great deal of suffering and social disharmony that could have been avoided.

The DA long ago warned that the UIF would be overwhelmed by the task of administering the Covid-19 Ters benefit scheme. This realisation only seems to have dawned on Minister Nxesi at the weekend.

According to the UIF, to date it has received 55,268 applications from employers representing about 1 601 767 employees. In total, the UIF has over 1 800 000 employers registered on its database representing more than 8 million workers. So far the UIF has processed 37 673 employer applications.

It is not clear how much money has been disbursed in terms of the Covid-19 Ters benefit. Some companies report that they have been paid by the UIF, but that they have not received a remittance advice or breakdown of how the funds should be disbursed to their employees. This is something that SARS should attempt to remedy.

The DA also notes that the UIF has created a new online application portal that aims to provide companies with a simpler method for completing Ters applications.  Some web browsers mark the Ters national disaster application website as “Not Secure”, due to its use of an outdated security system which the browser states may expose user information when it is sent to the website. This is something that the IT specialists at SARS should also seek to fix.

Source: Democratic Alliance at https://www.da.org.za/2020/04/da-welcomes-uifs-approach-to-sars-over-covid-19-ters-benefit?fbclid=IwAR2Aatp_TEfjVWjj1ipM9CRrYbz699r0cz6CiL-7qY1IwZpIt9QQCI2AZx4