UIF TERS extension critical to saving businesses and jobs
With the announcement last week by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the Alert Level 3 restrictions will remain in place until the 15 February 2020, I reiterate my call for the UIF-Covid19 TERS support to be extended for the duration of time that the additional restrictions apply.
The tourism and hospitality industry has already been hard-hit, and jobs are being lost as a result of the continued closure of the beaches, the curfew and the alcohol ban which are having a devastating impact on businesses and jobs in the Western Cape.
We have received many emails from businesses and individuals, who have held on for the past 10 months, but simply can’t continue to sustain their businesses or pay their employees with the current restrictions in place.
It is simply not fair to expect tourism, hospitality and liquor businesses to continue with limited operations or even close during the peak summer season without the necessary financial support to ensure they remain operational and can retain their staff during the Alert Level 3 restrictions.
And so, I have written to the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to urgently extend the UIF Covid-19 TERS scheme for the duration of the Alert Level 3 restrictions.
Approximately R56 billion in UIF Covid-19 TERS payouts have been distributed for the period from the end of March to 15 October 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.
These funds could provide the lifeline that businesses and employees need to sustain their operations while these restrictions on the economy are in place.
This is why our Red Tape Reduction Unit has also assisted businesses and individuals experiencing delays with the Covid-19 TERS payouts across the Western Cape, assisting over 173 businesses and 7 561 employees, and facilitating an average overall payout of R38 679 639.
The Western Cape government has focused on getting the balance right between preventing the spread of Covid-19 while keeping the economy as open as possible, saving both lives and livelihoods.
We will continue to work hard to support businesses so that we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.
Source: Government of South Africa