How 10,000 COVID-19 hit companies blundered and missed out on millions

PUBLISHED: Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:39:02 GMT

By Chris Bishop

More than 10,000 companies with hundreds of thousands of workers in South Africa missed out on millions because they couldn’t fill their application forms properly for Unemployment Insurance Fund relief.

Around 103,000 companies, representing 1.35 million workers, applied to the UIF fund in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, the tourism minister and chairperson of the government economic cluster on COVID-19, said 69,000 applications were processed and 862,000 workers will get money -about a third of their pay -from the UIF.

“Yet 10,000 applications were filled in with incorrect statements making it impossible for the forms to be processed,” Kubayi-Ngubane told a media briefing.

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“We have contacted the companies and will give them another chance to refile their applications correctly.”

South Africa is set to ease its strict lock down regulations from midnight on April 30. Certain businesses will be able to operate again, the precious metals mines will be free to ramp up to 50% of production yet restaurants and bars will stay closed. Gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed.

The government briefing said that the South African government expected the COVID-19 outbreak to peak in September.