The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) says it processed and paid out over R1 billion to 225 646 beneficiaries during December 2022 to ensure clients and their loved ones met their financial obligations during and after the festive season. 

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Labour said of the R1 billion, R876 million was paid towards unemployment benefits; R88 million towards maternity and parental benefits; R32 million towards dependants benefits; and R24 million towards illness benefits.

“I am very pleased that we were able to disburse the R1 billion to so many of our clients during the busy December period. I have no doubt that this R1 billion pay out in benefits went a long way towards helping our clients put food on the table during the festive break and planning for crucial items such as purchasing stationery and uniforms for children in the beginning of the new year as schools reopened around the country,” UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping said.  

Since the inception of the special COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID-19 TERS) in March 2020 during the first lockdown, the fund has disbursed R62 billion to at least 5 million workers.

“For the Workers Affected by Unrest (WABU): Temporary Financial Relief Scheme that was established to assist workers who lost income as a result of the July 2021 unrest, the UIF has paid out R21 million to 6 404 workers,” Maruping said.

Maruping said the fund remains committed to providing social security to UIF contributors and their beneficiaries in line with the Constitution which states that “everyone has the right to have access to social security”. 

The Commissioner added that this year the fund will redouble its efforts to improve service delivery and continue paying out claims to qualifying clients and their beneficiaries as efficiently as possible.

“We will also be enhancing our Information and Communications Technology systems and launching a data free mobile Application (APP), a free USSD system, and a few other platforms to bolster and improve service delivery to our clients and stakeholders. Further announcements to these developments will be made in due course,” Maruping said.

Maruping also acknowledged the dedicated UIF officials in all provinces who continue to make benefit payments to the clients possible.