The DA wants another round of UIF Ters payments for businesses as SA remains on alert level 3

The DA has called for a return of Ters payments as SA continues to be on level 3 lockdown.
The DA has called for a return of Ters payments as SA continues to be on level 3 lockdown.

The DA has called for the return of UIF Ters payments for the duration of the alert level 3 lockdown, saying the fund will provide assistance to businesses whose operations continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This after president Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday that SA would remain on level 3 to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. The liquor industry is among the hardest hit as the ban of sales of alcohol remain intact. This, said the president, will help ensure that there are no trauma cases in hospitals and will ease the pressure on the health system.

The DA said the prolonged lockdown is "devastating hundreds of businesses, many of them in the tourism, hospitality and liquor industries, which are either unable to operate or are only able to operate partially under increased restrictions.”

Last month, many business owners in coastal towns including the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route suffered a financial blow when tourists cancelled holiday bookings after the announcement to close beaches in all hotspot areas across the country to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

The DA has blamed the government for failing to provide financial support to affected businesses.

“This in turn is jeopardising the livelihoods of thousands of employees who are unable to earn an income. Workers have been left high and dry by the government, which has thus far failed to offer any sort of financial relief to compensate them for lost income.

“This is either an act of malign indifference or wilful callousness on the government’s part, as employers and employees have been left to suffer in hardship over the holiday season.”

Ters applications for the September to October period closed on 31 December.

Last month, the UIF settled all outstanding payments including of foreign nationals who had been cleared by the department of home affairs.

Before these payments, the fund had paid R55.6 billion in 12.9 payments to millions of workers from 1.1 million applications since the start of lockdown in March. Of this, over R2 billion was paid to 491,410 foreign nationals from 95, 834 applications by employers.

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