Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Lauded for Reducing Unemployment
The South African Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) services are often associated with income loss and unemployment, however, the fund has been praised for its role in reducing unemployment.
The Department of Employment and Labour is lauding the role of the UIF in the past 18 months for its contribution to lowering unemployment in the country.
An agreement signed between the UIF and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in 2017 is paying deviance. The Facility and Subscription Agreement agreement brought into effect a substantial investment of R5 billion.
The labour department says by the end of 2021, the investment created and saved more than 8000 jobs.
“Through the IDC/UIF facility, 22 black industrialist-owned businesses have been supported to the value of more than R1 billion and these deals have created 1 859 jobs. About 17 start-ups were also funded, to the value of R1 044 million creating 854 jobs,” explained the department.
The department added, “Although this may seem like a drop in the ocean considering the unemployment rate increase of 7.6% in the third quarter of 2021, what is important to note is that these jobs were created in the tough economic environment where the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the South African economy”.
The investment also ensured that the UIF could assist companies through the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS).
“Drawing cash from these investments to fund Covid-19 TERS has come at a cost, as our investment declined by 24% from R151 billion to R115 billion by end of March 2021,” the labour department explained.