Labour minister Thulas Nxesi said on Friday his department's budget for the 2021/22 financial year had shrunk by R351m to R3.5bn.
“The major reductions made by the department are R213m from compensation of employees and R8.5m on goods and services. In addition, budgets across the entities were reduced by R102m,” Nxesi told parliament.
According to Nxesi, the Covid-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme (Ters) benefit, which started paying out from April 2020, had as of March made payments to 267,000 employers and 5.4 million individual employees at a cost of R58.7bn.
“The compensation fund and the licensed mutual assurance companies have paid for medical treatment and replacement of lost income for 12,500 Covid-related claims over the last 12 months.
“These bodies have also set aside R1.3bn in terms of the COIDA act [Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act] to fund vaccines for some three million uninsured workers and COID pensioners.