According to a Moneyweb article the Temporary Covid-19 scheme has only paid out R460m to distressed companies as at 15 April 2020.

This is despite looming payment dates for many employers.  Only businesses that have had to partially or completely close their businesses on a temporary basis because of the nationwide lockdown meant to slow the spread of Covid-19 qualify for relief.

A look at the complaints from business owners on social media shows frustration over the bureaucratic process and red tape involved in claiming from the UIF’s Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Scheme (Ters). 

The reason for this is that only 136 applications out of 39,000 were valid, UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping told Moneyweb. 

One of the documents is a UIF Excel template. The employer is required to

  • fill in the details of the business,
  • the day it closed,
  • list its employees,
  • the dates they started working, their ID or passport numbers, their refugee identity documents,
  • their remuneration

This document has to be converted to a CSV file format before it can be submitted.

Applicants complained about having to fill out days of paperwork that had to be resubmitted on more than one occasion as the fund requested changes to his documents.

Another complained about the automated system requiring different information, and once the application was complete they were not given a reference number or an indication that the application is being assessed. 

Maruping said 23 000 companies were sent emails on Saturday 11 April advising them to resubmit the correct file format and/or supply full information.

This really is unacceptable. Why could they not properly plan and design the forms they require? Under lockdown people are not at work and usually do not have access to computers and the internet. Simply re-submitting a form suddenly is a herculean task.