Unemployment insurance expands


23 July 2008

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) registered a staggering R27.8-billion in collections at the end of March 2008, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana told delegates at a labour workshop in Pretoria last week.

“This figure shows a massive growth from the R7.031-billion reported in April 2004,” he said in a statement issued by the Labour Department.

“When I came in 1998, the fund was technically bankrupt.”

The Unemployment Insurance Act and Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act apply to all employers and workers, but not to workers working less than 24 hours a month for an employer, learners, foreigners working on contract, workers who get a monthly state pension, and workers who only earn a commission.

‘Almost half’ of SA’s workers insured

“During the period April 2004 and March 2008, over 2.2-million beneficiaries were paid UIF benefits of R11.02-billion,” he said.

He said the number of employees registered on the UIF database stood at 7 392 493.

“This is almost half the number of working people in South Africa,” Mdladlana said. “This is the information you don’t get anywhere.”

He added that the number of employers on the UIF database was 1 166 467.

Long queues eliminated

At the same time, Mdladlana said, the long queues associated with the signing of the UIF register and collection of payment benefits have been eliminated since the introduction of the electronic payment system.

He added that the number of claims processing centres in the country had increased from 14 in 2004 to 57 in 2008.

SAinfo reporter

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