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15 December 2020 - NW2936

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What total (a) amount has (i) his department and (ii) all entities reporting to him spent on consultants between 1 March and 31 October 2020 and (b) number of consultants were appointed by the Commissioner to work directly in his office?

Reply:

a) During the specified period there is no expenditure amount in the Office of the Director General paid to consultants. (i) The Office of the Director General appointed no consultants in the specified period. Therefore, there are no amounts of funds that were spent.

(ii) Amount accounting for Nedlac is R2 295 578.18

b) Two consultants were appointed to work in the Office of the Executive Director. One was appointed to prepare the Annual Report and the second was appointed to upgrade the website and develop a template for a Nedlac newsletter to stakeholders.

(ii) In relation to UIF, the amount is R36,179,557.35

See the breakdown below:

Unemployment Insurance Fund

     

Company Name

Services

Expenditure

VS

Operational System

18,142,479.45

Gen2

Financial System

5,788,146.41

Altimax

Technical financial advisory services on the Fund’s annual financial statements and audit

1,510,698.00

True South

Actuarial Services

6,068,203.52

Nexia SAB&T

Probity Review Services on procurement processes

1,854,095.52

IAC

Actuarial Services Contract (contract came to an end during the period)

619,181.01

SNG

Internal Audit Consultants

2,196,753.44

Total:

 

36,179,557.35

(b) no consultants were appointed by Commissioner to work directly in his office during the specified period.

09 December 2020 - NW2935

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What total (a) amount has the Compensation Fund spent on consultants between 1 March and 31 October 2020 and (b) number of consultants were appointed by the Commissioner to work directly in his office?

Reply:

a) The amount spent on consultants by the Compensation Fund for the period 1 March to 31 October 2020 is R 6,795,618.78

b) There are no consultants appointed by the Commissioner to work directly in his office.

09 December 2020 - NW2757

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

With reference to the oversight visit of the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour to the Unemployment Insurance Fund headquarters on 30 October 2020, wherein it came to light that some employees are abusing the overtime system, what (a) consequence management actions is his department taking against the specified employees and (b) measures will be put in place to prevent the occurrence of such in the future?

Reply:

Officials that abuse overtime by submitting claims that are not valid are not paid for such claims and progressive discipline is taken to correct the transgression.

All overtime worked by officials in the UIF is strictly managed and controlled according to the Department of Employment and Labour’s overtime policy, the relevant DPSA and NT prescripts and prior approval must be granted for such overtime. It is a requirement that an overtime plan is developed. The overtime plan must then have clear deliverables. It then gets submitted. It has to be reported upon before further approvals are granted.

25 November 2020 - NW2850

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Ntlangwini, Ms EN to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) total number of turnaround strategies has Mr Vuyo Mafata implemented since he was appointed a Commissioner of the Compensation Fund, (b) number of the strategies has (i) worked and/or (ii) not worked and (c) are the reasons that strategies put in place to turn around negative audit outcome are not working?

Reply:

One Turnaround Strategy has been developed implemented in two phases. First phase (Action Plan 1.0) was to stabilise the operations of the Compensation Fund and the second phase (Action Plan 2.0) was to improve controls in order to improve the audit outcomes. The implementation of the strategy is in progress.

24 November 2020 - NW2835

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether his department has a database of companies that are ignoring verdicts of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration ruling in favour of workers; if not, why not; if so, what (a)(i) is the name of each company, (ii) are the details of the judgment and (iii) is the date of the verdict in each case and (b) steps is his department taking to intervene in each case?

Reply:

Section 143 of the Labour Relations Act states that an arbitration award issued by a commissioner is final and binding and it may be enforced.

 In the event that a party fails to implement anaward which orders one party to compensate the other a sum of money by a certain date, the party entitled to the compensation may approach the CCMA to certify the award in terms of section 143(3).

 In such instances the certified award is furnished to the local Sheriff, instructing the latter to attach and take into execution the movables of the non-compliant party

For each case where there is non-compliance with the award, CCMA Case Management Officers, in terms of Standard Operating Procedures,contact the non-compliant party telephonically regarding the impending enforcement. This is meant to give the defaulting party a final opportunity to comply with the arbitration award.

Once the enforcement application has been processed the role of the CCMA is to pay for the costs of the enforcement for employees earning below the statutory threshold.

24 November 2020 - NW2771

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Zungula, Mr V to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

When were the last inspections performed at companies to ensure that they are compliant with (a) immigration laws, (b) the Employment Equity Act, Act 55 of 1998 and (c) labour laws with regard to their hiring of non-South African citizens?

Reply:

(a) The Department of Home Affairs and its team of inspectors check compliance with immigration laws in the RSA as this falls within its mandate;

(b) For the financial year 2020/21 to date, the following inspections pertaining to the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 were conducted:

- Designated Employers Assessed : 75

- Designated Employers Reviewed : 299

- Designated Employers Re-Assessed : 217

(c) Labour Inspectors are conducting inspections on a continuous basis as part of their normal inspections at workplaces not only to determine compliance with labour legislation but also to determine the number of foreign nationals being employed.

20 November 2020 - NW2579

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Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether, with reference to the discussions on an action plan for economic recovery, the social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council did consider any other job-creation interventions apart from public employment programmes; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

An emphatic point has to be made that the nature of unemployment in our country is such that, it is high, it is structural, systemic and deep-seated. This already outlined nature of unemployment in South Africa is compounded bylack of requisite skills as well as misalignment of them. Given this sad reality, a focussed, in touch, alert and forward-thinking government would bring among its interventions mass employment and Public Employment Programmes (PEPs) offer such. So, Public Employment Programmes are tremendously important in the context of countries like ours, they are key!

Do we rely only on them for job creation? Of course not! One of the key aspects of Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is the Infrastructure Programme. Infrastructure development has a huge potential, almost guaranteed job creation, whether you talk of transforming of cities, towns, rural areas landscape or creation of bulk water infrastructure, national roads improvements projects, school construction, network infrastructure such as ports, rail, roads, etc – those go concurrently with creation of employment.

In the South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, there is reindustrialisation. Reindustrialisation will create employment and will also grow business. Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan among many, seeks to create an economy that will create jobs. The creation of jobs is one of the key objectives of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. There is also an aim to reverse the decline of the local manufacturing sector, the resuscitation of tourism, you should know the capacity of tourism in terms of labour absorption. There will also be unchartered terrain especially when we go deeper to digital advancement, the space is alive with possibilities particularly when it comes to youth employment. This Plan will invest in our human capital even for the future. So, Dr Cardo, yes, NEDLAC social partners considered job creation interventions beyond the Public Employment Programmes.

13 November 2020 - NW2506

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether he has considered regulating third parties in administration of medical claims to the Compensation Fund; if not, why not, if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

No. The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act provides for parties in the claims process which are:

  • Employers who are required to register, pay annual assessment and submit claims when workers are injured or contract an occupational disease in the workplace.
  • Medical Service providers who treat the injured workers or those who contracted occupational diseases and claim such costs from the Compensation Fund
  • Workers who when they are injured in the workplace are entitled to benefits as outlined in the Act.

The law is adequate with regards to provisions related to the above mentioned parties hence there has been no need to issue a regulation(s) in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases for parties who are not in the Act.

13 November 2020 - NW2496

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Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Why has the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) ignored the case of a certain person (name furnished), who was unfairly dismissed by the Tsitsikamma Forest Village Trust and lodged a case with the CCMA, case number WEGE4091-19?

Reply:

The matter was conciliated on 12 December 2019.

The request for Arbitration was received late and the applicant applied for condonation, which was granted on 26 May 2020. The arbitration was scheduled and heard on 1 July 2020 where the applicant was in attendance.

The Commissioner found that the respondent, Tsitsikamma Forest Village Trust, had not dismissed the applicant, Mr. Mzinosi Ntentile, as alleged by the applicant in his referral of his dispute to the CCMA. The Commissioner found further that the applicant’s employment had in fact, come to an end, when his fixed term contract had ended in August 2019. The Arbitration Award was issued and served on 13 July 2020.

END

13 November 2020 - NW2596

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Ngwezi, Mr X to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether, with reference to students who have not been paid a salary of R3 500 per month since August 2019, but have been advised that as they are registered with a certain company (name furnished) and technically employed by his department under its skills development programme, they do not qualify for the COVID-19 relief fund, he will expedite the backpayment of COVID-19 relief grants in the sum of R350 per person, per month to the 490 Specialised Resource Management students currently undergoing skills development training with the specified company in KwaZulu-Natal; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are the full, relevant details and (b) will he further investigate the specified matter and hold those implicated in the alleged corruptionliable?

Reply:

What we are picking up from our records thus far is that, the learners referred to, do not belong to the Labour Activation Programmes of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. We will continue to investigate this matter with a view to establish as to whether there any links that might be there with our LAP.

However, for information purposes, LAP learners who were active before the nationwide lockdown, supported by attendance registers, are paid Covid-19 lockdown stipends for the months of April, May and June 2020. They are not expected to claim any other grant by virtue of this payment. In cases where they have not yet received their payments, it means there might be other circumstances delaying the payments.

13 November 2020 - NW2405

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Ngwezi, Mr X to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)In view of the findings of a recent survey (details furnished) conducted by a certain company (name furnished) that underemployment had risen among domestic workers during lockdown and a study (details furnished) conducted by a certain institution (name and details furnished) which found that instances of abuse, ill-treatment, sexual assault and rape increased during lockdown as workers were forced to live in close proximity with their employers for extended periods, (a) what total number of complaints did his department receive from domestic workers and/or other interested parties on their behalf about (i) employers not adhering to mandated wages, (ii) sexual assault and (iii) rape, (b) how long did it take his department to dispatch inspectors in response to the specified complaints and (c) what total number of cases of wage disputes were resolved and resulted in a settlement being reached; (2)whether any of the complaints were made through the Impimpa Hotline; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what total number of complaints; (3)whether, in view of the Chief Director of Collective Bargaining, Thembinkosi Mkalipi’s indication upon the launch of the specified hotline that a dashboard would be made available on a weekly basis, his department published the findings from the complaints on its website; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4)whether he has found that the R20 million which was earmarked to raise awareness on the hotline has indeed been utilised for that purpose; if so, (5)whether he will furnish Mr X Ngwezi with the full, relevant details of (a) how and (b) where the specified amount was spent?

Reply:

1. a). Domestic Worker Cases

Sector

Received

Inspected

Compliant

Not Compliant

Scheduled

Cancelled

Domestic

25 699

3289

2958

331

3954

473

(i) The statistics for the Lockdown period (Quarters 1 & 2 of the 2020/21 Financial Year is still being verified and interrogated.

(ii) The Department does not maintain statistics in respect of sexual assault cases as these are criminal matters.

(iii) The Department does not maintain statistics in respect of rape cases as these are criminal matters.

(b) In reference to national Minimum Wage (NMW) Cases, 7 days is the turnaround time to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, due to Covid - 19 Pandemic, Inspectors had to undertake Administrative Inspections (working from home) which made adherence to this time-limit difficult.

(c) The statistics for the Lockdown period (Quarters 1 & 2 of the 2020/21 Financial Year is still being verified and interrogated.

(2) Yes, complaints were made through the Impimpa Hotline. Since the inception of the Impimpa Hotline in March 2020, 178 000 cases have been reported

(3) To ensure the effective monitoring and enforcement of the national minimum wage, my department developed a reporting line to allow workers to report cases of non-compliance with the national minimum wage without any cost to them which I subsequently launched on the 5th March 2020.

To recognise the Batho Pele principle of openness and transparency and to hold us accountable on whether the cases reported on the reporting line were resolved within the stipulated time-frames, a dashboard was built to extract data from the system. The data would then be published on the department’s website on a weekly basis.The data was subsequently published on the website but that was unfortunately halted as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

4. The success of this hotline was very much dependent on properly marketingit to ensure that it is communicated to all employees. My department therefore engaged GCIS to arrange for the marketing and advertising of this NMW Impimpa reporting line.

It was therefore crucial to use different media platforms in order to ensure that the information on the system reached all the intended beneficiaries. The department therefore made use of about six media platforms (print, radio, taxi rank advertising, train station advertising, television and social media) amounting to R21 620 000 00 to cover the cost of marketing and advertising of the NMW Impimpa hotline.

(5) The department made use of six media platforms (print, radio, taxi rank advertising, train station advertising, television and social media) amounting to R21 620 000 00 to ensure that the message is delivered to all stakeholders.

Since the launch of the NMW Impimpa hotline in March, employees have been making use of this service as to date about 178 000 cases were recorded on the NMW Impimpa dashboardbut it has unfortunately been temporarily put on hold as the department has received more numbers than anticipated which has put the department on pressure with regards to funding.

06 November 2020 - NW2505

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What total number of invoices have not been paid as a result of migration to CompEasy System?

Reply:

None. There are no invoices that have not been paid as a result of migration into CompEasy.

Invoices were migrated into CompEasy from uMehluko so that they can continue to be paid in CompEasy when payable.

06 November 2020 - NW2504

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether, with reference to his reply to question 2281 on 16 October 2020, the invoices that were received were based on the new ComEasy System; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what is the total number of unpaid invoices that could not be migrated to the new system?

Reply:

Yes, they were based on information in CompEasy.

A total of 38 946 invoices could not be migrated into CompEasy mainly due to the invoices not meeting the criteria for migration.

These invoices had already been rejected on uMehluko and the rejection reasons of those medical invoices were already communicated to medical service providers. Reasons for rejection included tariff code that did not match the published gazetted Compensation fund tariff codes.

These invoices were subsequently paid through the finance system of the Fund after medical service providers had provided the Fund with corrected information

06 November 2020 - NW2452

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Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) is the total number of labour centres in the Republic, (b) number of the specified labour centres failed to open when Alert Level 1 of the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 came into force on 21 September 2020 and (c) was the reason for the prolonged closure in each specified instance?

Reply:

1. 125

2. None

3. Note applicable

 

06 November 2020 - NW2463

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Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(a) What are the full details of the officials of the Unemployment Insurance Fund who have been suspended on full pay following the Auditor-General’s investigation into financial irregularities associated with the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme, (b) what is their monthly salary in each case and (c) on what date will they return to work?

Reply:

a)

  1. Mr Tebogo Maruping – Unemployment insurance Commissioner.
  2. Ms Fezeka Puzi, UIF CFO.
  3. Ms Judith Kumbi, Chief Director Operations.
  4. Ms Maria Ramashaba, Director: Supply Chain Management.
  5. Ms Nompumemlelo Mconywa: chief Director: Labour Activation Programme.

b)

1. Monthly gross salary is R107 863.90

2. Monthly gross salary is R101 118.31

3. Monthly gross salary is R94 252 .56.

4. Monthly gross salary is R800 89.44

5. Monthly gross salary is R97 227.18.

The date of return to work is dependant on completion and processing of the investigation report. The report is expected, according to norms, within 60 days from September 2020 or such extended period as may apply.

06 November 2020 - NW2451

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Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) is the total number of applicants who received the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme payments between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020 as (i) applicants below the legal age of employment, (ii) applicants with the same identity number as Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) employees, (iii) deceased individuals, (iv) individuals in prison, (v) individuals with invalid identity numbers, (vi) applicants who received benefits from other state institutions, including remuneration and (vii) applicants with the same banking details as UIF employees and (b) is the total quantum of payments in each category?

Reply:

Type

Total

Total amount

Below legal age of employment

53

224 677.43

(i) Applicants below the legal age of employment:

(ii) Applicants with the same identity number as Unemployment Insurance Fund

Type

Total

Total amount

Applicant's ID numbers same as UIF employee

1

4 027.45

(iii) Deceased individuals:

Type

Total

Total amount

Deceased

113

441 144.34

Type

Total

Total amount

Inmates

26

R 129 242.64

(iv) Individuals in prison:

(v) Individuals with invalid identity numbers:

Type

Total

Total amount

Invalid ID numbers

4 161

R 30 071 248.84

(vi) Applicants who received benefits from other state institutions, including remuneration:

Type

Total

Total amount

(SASSA) disability grant

20

69 419.36

(SASSA) Old age grant

22 611

88 814 684.36

(vii) Applicants with the same banking details as UIF employees:

(a) is the total quantum of payments in each category?

Type

Total

Total amount

Applicant's bank details same as UIF employee

4

  1. 613.89

(b) Is the total quantum of payments in each category?

Total amount: R 119 769 058.31

06 November 2020 - NW2450

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Schreiber, Dr LA to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)What is the total amount of Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) funding that has been irregularly paid to public servants who were not eligible for TERS funding because they continued to receive their full salaries throughout the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus; (2) how will he (a) recoup and (b) hold public servants accountable who irregularly applied for and/or received TERS money meant to support struggling private sector enterprises and workers?

Reply:

Type

Total exceptions

Total amount

Possible Double Dipping - PERSAL

9 494

R 41 009 737.70

Possible Double Dipping - SANDF

78

R 327 638.36

Total

9 572

41 337 376.06

2. The matter is under investigation by the UIF Fraud Unit as well as the SIU and based on the investigation recommendations, the recovery process will be initiated by UIF. In addition, possible criminal cases and internal disciplinary cases can be instituted

06 November 2020 - NW2449

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Schreiber, Dr LA to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What number of public servants have been identified to have irregularly (a) applied for and (b) benefited from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme?

Reply:

Type

Total exceptions

Total amount

Possible Double Dipping - PERSAL

9 494

R 41 009 737.70

Possible Double Dipping - SANDF

78

R 327 638.36

Total

9 572

41 337 376.06

16 October 2020 - NW2172

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Zungula, Mr V to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether, based on Mr. Edwin Sodi’s recent testimony at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State, which implicated him as a beneficiary of Mr. Sodi’s company, he declared the funds he had received from the specified company in accordance with the requirements of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, Act 82 of 1998, to the Registrar of Members’ Interests in Parliament; if not, what (a) total number of contracts have been awarded to Mr. Sodi’s company under his leadership in his (i) previous and (ii) current Ministerial portfolios and (b) is the monetary value of each specified contract so awarded?

Reply:

Minister Nxesi never received any money from Mr Sodi or his company. As Mr Sodi clarified at the Zondo Commission that the amount of R15 000 was paid directly to the learners’ school account and R30 000 paid directly for accommodation of other two learners to allow them to continue with their schooling.

Therefore, since the payments were not directly made to the Minister, there was no obligation to declare such in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act 82 of 1998. Minister Nxesi is not related in any manner to the learners.

To the Minister’s knowledge, Mr Sodi or his company did not get any gratification for this kind gesture in a form of contracts from Departments under his leadership.

16 October 2020 - NW2280

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What total number of cases have been reported of medical service providers who refused to assist the Compensation Fund in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019?

Reply:

Unfortunately, Honourable Member Mkhonto, Compensation fund does not have this information as it is not information required in support of a claim.

16 October 2020 - NW2281

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What was the total number of unpaid medical claims by the Compensation Fund by the end of September 2020?

Reply:

As at 30 September 2020, there are 67 338 unpaid invoices amounting to R 206 588 327,00 out of the 319 801 invoices submitted to the Compensation Fund amounting to R1 168 693 890.4. The 67 338 unpaid invoices are made up of the following categories:

Invoice Status

Invoices Received

Total Amount

Description

Invoice Pended

9 458

R37 610 836,46

Invoice processed but information is outstanding

Open Assessment

5 914

R38 957 337,51

The invoices are in assessment stage  

Open Invoice Entry

34 983

R56 791 275,32

Invoices have been  received, not yet processed

Parked Payment

932

R2 833 159,31

Invoices have been  assessed, to be referred to finance

To be Approved

15 952

R66 633 867,42

Invoices have been  fully assessed, awaiting approval

No Status

99

R3 761 851,13

Invoice partially processed, to be assessed for further statuses

 

 

 

 

 

67 338

R206 588 327,15

 

16 October 2020 - NW2282

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)On what legal provisions does his department rely to allow the involvement of third parties in the Compensation Fund claims process; (2) whether he has found that the involvement of third parties in the Compensation Fund claims process leads to irregularities and/or inefficiencies; if not, why are they identified as part of the challenge; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1: These is no legal provision that allows or prohibits the involvement of third parties.

2: Yes, this createchallenges in the processing of claims. Claims processing is often delayed due to outstanding information required while medical service providers are paid and the injured workers remain unpaid as the Fund is unable to finalise the claims due to the outstanding claims information.

02 October 2020 - NW2055

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Denner, Ms H to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether his department is currently engaged in a contract with a service provider to supply services related to thesystems applications and products of any kind; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what is the scope of the agreement, (b) what is the name of the service provider, (c) where is the service provider based and (d) what is the value of the contract?

Reply:

Yes, theDepartment has a contract as follows:

What is the scope of the agreement

What is the name of the service provider

Where is the service provider based and

What is the value of the contract?

SAP Roadmap Implementation (Please see the attached business case)

Tech Mahindra SA

It is an international company that has it South African branch based in Gauteng, Midrand and its headquarters are in Pune, INDIA

Total Contract amount is R434 751 219.66

UIF is currently engaged in the following contracts:

What is the scope of the agreement

What is the name of the service provider

Where is the service provider based and

What is the value of the contract?

Biometric system implementation

(Supply thumbprint devices, implementation and support)

2Identify

Pretoria

Contract value R 8 748 559.85 for 3 years to Dec 2021

Ufiling and VO support and maintenance including system enhancements and System migration

Interfile

Randburg

Contract value R 123 950 737.50 for 3 years from August 2020 to Aug 2023

Queue Management System Implementation and support

Emerge Customer flow Management

Centurion

Contract value R49 366 744.28 for 3 years to August 2021

Provision of ICT Resources

Vindhya Systems

Sandton

Resources (in house)

R 51 030 840.30 3 years to August 2021

The Compensation Fund is currently engaged in:

What is the scope of the agreement

What is the name of the service provider

Where is the service provider based and

What is the value of the contract?

Development, maintenance and support of Claims management system (CompEasy) on SAP for Insurance (S4i) for a period of six years

Dimension Data.

Gauteng, Johannesburg

Contract value is R287 829 047.00

02 October 2020 - NW2155

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

With reference to the reply of the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services to question 776 on 8 June 2020, what are the (a) latest details regarding the case and (b) reasons that the principal of the school was summoned to court whereas it is the Department of Basic Education’s responsibility to replace asbestos classrooms?

Reply:

a) The latest details are that this matter is still ongoing. The School Principal in the presence of the Department of Employment and Labour handed the names and capacities of the Department of Basic Education officials over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

b) Then the NPA subpoenaed the Department of Basic Education officials regarding non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in some classrooms of that particular school.

22 September 2020 - NW1897

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Sonti, Ms NP to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) number of persons have lost their jobs in the mining industry since the beginning of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 and (b) engagements has he had with the mining sector to reduce the number of job losses in the mining industry?

Reply:

a) Honourable Member would recall that Statistics South Africa is responsible for collection, collating and releasing of the official employment statistics through the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) and the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES).

The number of jobs lost in the mining industry since the beginning of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 is not yet available because the QLSF 2nd Quarter will be released around the dates of 29th September 2020 and the QES will be released around the 15th of October 2020.

We will therefore request that we humbly await the publication of the official data in the country.

22 September 2020 - NW1455

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Groenewald, Mr IM to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether, with reference to the fact that most municipalities do not apply the principle of no-work-no-pay, resulting in unprotected illegal strikes, the Government engaged with the trade unions to protect the taxpayers and ensure that they receive value for money for taxes and rates that they pay by allowing municipal employees to rather claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund during the period of lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 in line with other citizens who are on a no-work-no-pay arrangement; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Municipalities’ employees are legible to apply for Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)benefits if the employer has registered them using a reference number.

UIF Covid-19 TERS, are funds that a meant for employees who have been temporary laid-off due to lockdown as everybody is adhering to health and safety protocols having occasioned by the outbreak of devastating Covid-19. Attempting to curb the spread of Covid-19 and flatten the curve, many employees had to stay at home, so, to mitigate against the hardship of not earning whilst staying at home, employers on behalf of employees or employees themselves had to apply for UIF Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).Ifworkers were on strike and notat work it would not be possible for them to qualify for COVID-19 TERS benefits.

The employees could qualify for other UIF benefits as and when they getunemployed, dismissed, retrenched deceased, on maternity leave etc.

Municipalities have the right to register for the Unemployment Insurance and pay contribution to the Fund.

14 September 2020 - NW1462

Profile picture: Ngwezi, Mr X

Ngwezi, Mr X to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What has he found are the biggest challenges that institutions such as (a) Harambe, (b) Youth Employment Service, (c) Youth Lab and (d) any other youth employment incubator initiatives are facing in view of the fact that the latest statistics from Statistics South Africa paints a bleak picture of the reality facing 20,6 million young South Africans between the ages of 15 to 34 years who are neither employed nor in any form of educational institution and/or training facility and that the numbers for black youth in the rural and peri-urban areas are exponentially worse where unemployment figures are in excess of 40%?

Reply:

 

I may not be familiar with every little challenge that the provided list of youth organisations faces on a daily basis as none of these entities fall under the Department of Employment and Labour whilst others are not even in government. Amongst the challenges that we have identified within government that continue to contribute to high unemployment rate amongst the youth are the following:

  • The structural nature of the South African economy, low economic growth levels compounded by Insufficient investments by the private and public sector in new ventures and infrastructure
  • socio economic challenges and the high poverty levels that remain amongst blacks and in some instances contributing to school drop outs especially in peri-urban and rural areas,
  • limited skill acquisition and resultant inadequate preparation of youth for entry into the world of work,
  • rapid changes in the labour market fuelled by digitization and automation.
  • The covid-19 pandemic has further added to the above challenges.

I am aware that despite challenges that these youth organisations continue to face on a daily basis, they have done a lot to assist government in addressing the plight of our young people. Within government, great strides have been made in improving employability of young people through interventions in the education system but more still needs to be done. Government has also implemented a number of interventions to address the youth unemployment problem. These includes:-

  • High level interventions to grow the economy within National Development Plan 2030, the Medium Term Strategic Framework and Agreements conclude by the President and the various Ministers.

Within the Department of Employment and Labour:

  • The Promulgation of the Employment Services Act 2014 was introduced to guide the Department in its free services to promote youth employment. These services include registration of work seekers and employment opportunities, the matching, counselling, placement offered through 126 Labour centres, satellite and visiting points; and vulnerable groups employment schemes through 13 Supported Employment Enterprises Factories and Subsidized organizations that employ people with disabilities.
  • Labour Activation programmes funded by the Unemployment Insurance Fund
  • Occupational death dependants Youth bursary scheme funded by the Compensation Fund.

Other departments have also initiated the following interventions that benefited millions of young people as part of their contribution:-

  • The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)
  • Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) and Jobs Fund by National Treasury
  • The 2018 Jobs Summit Framework Agreement, as well as the establishment of the Job Fund
  • The Skills development system funded by the Skills levy, the Bursary Scheme funded under the NESFAS in the High Education and Science and Technology Department
  • More recently Government has developed the Presidential Youth Employment Interverntion which provided for the Presidential Youth Service, scaling the Youth Employment Service (YES) and the creation of a national pathway management network.

14 September 2020 - NW1816

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What steps will his department take to (a) intervene and (b) save the livelihoods of the workers employed at Mthatha Motors in the Eastern Cape who have been instructed by their employer to take unpaid leave during the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus?

Reply:

The labour inspector was dispatched to conduct an inspection to determine the level of non-compliance by the employer.

OUTCOME OF THE INSPECTION CONDUCTED

The BCEA and OHS inspection was conducted on the 13th of August 2020. During the inspection, it transpired that the employees are covered by MIBCO Bargaining Council. Employees were given two options by the employer during lockdown,

  1. to take unpaid leave and personally claim from UIF,
  2. another option was to take paid leave.

Some of the employees opted for paid annual leave while the rest of the employees were given paid leave while the employer also claimed for the COVID- 19 (Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme TERS) benefits.

The Department issued the Amended COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme directive that was signed on the 16th of April 2020 (clause 5.4) which provides as follows: “ an employer who has required an employee to take annual leave during the period of lockdown in terms of section 22(1)(b) of the BCEA 1997(Act 75 of 1997) may set off an amount received from the UIF in respect of that employee’s COVID -19 benefit against the amount paid to the employee in respect of annual leave provided that the employee is credited proportionate entitlement to paid annual leave in the future”

Amendment to Directive

Clause 5.5 provides as follows : “ To speed payment of COVID 19 benefits to employees, employers are urged to pay employees based on clause 3.4 of the Directive and reimburse or set off such with COVID 19 benefits claim payments from UIF”

In the case of these employees, the employer did not deduct paid annual leave from the UIF COVID-19 TERS payments.

Proof of UIF COVID-19 TERS and annual leave payments will be provided by the employer.

The employer is in the process of closing the business due to lease agreement that is coming to an end with TOTAL. CCMA is facilitating the retrenchment process. (Case No EC EL3458/20)

It is therefore recommended that the employer deducts the paid annual leave from July COVID-19 TERS benefits to ensure that if the employees are retrenched they would be reimbursed for the annual leave credit.

14 September 2020 - NO367

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What total (a) amount of the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) fund has been disbursed by the Unemployment Insurance Fund in each month since 1 April 2020 and (b) number of persons benefited from the TERS fund in each of the specified months?

Reply:

 

Below is a breakdown of Covid-19 payment per month and employees benefited.

Date

Employers

Employees

Amount

April 2020

397 985

4 091 393

R 20 587 152 009.36

May 2020

238 540

2 846 119

R 11 577 254 567.94

June 2020

189 289

2 563 853

R 9 599 444 264.38

Overall Totals

825 814

9 501 365

R 41 763 850 841.68

1

14 September 2020 - NW1484

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

With reference to the total number of Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) applications that his department has received to date, what total number of (a) TERS applications were received from (i) early childhood development centres and (ii) partial care facilities, (b) the specified applications in each case qualified for TERS funding and (c) the applications were rejected in each case;

Reply:

1.

  1. 293 applications were received from Early Childhood Development Centre
  2. UIF Database does not differentiate centres but register them as per the applicant.
  3. Total employees applied for is 4761
  4. 1940 applicants were rejected
  5. Below are various reasons for rejection.

Error types

Employees not declared

Bank Name not found

Shut-down From Date not found

Applicant already received TERS benefits from LAP - TERS

Account Number not found

ID No. is On Hold on the UIF Database

Account type not found

Leave Income is a Negative Amount

Branch Code not found

Monthly Salary is a negative amount

Duplicate ID

3.

    1. 2 821 employees were paid
    2. Total amount paid out is R 10 022 922.57
    3. The value still to be paid to 1940 employees not determined to date.

26 August 2020 - NO343

Profile picture: Ntlangwini, Ms EN

Ntlangwini, Ms EN to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) number of cases has his department detected of employers who claimed from the Unemployment Insurance Fund on behalf of employees, but did not pay their employees what was due to them and (b) action has his department taken against the employers?

Reply:

1. The number of cases that have been detected of employers who claimed from Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on behalf of employees but did not pay their employees what was due to them is 38

2. These cases were subjected to investigation. In 11 of them investigation has been completed. We also came up with the action that we termed ‘Follow The Money’ with its objective of conducting audit on all the payments. Again, the Department and UIF have worked through the Fusion Centre with other government departments, agencies and databases to close gaps and eliminate risks. The Fusion Centre is a combination of law enforcement agencies which is intended to speed up investigation and prosecution of COVID-19 related fraud and corruption cases.

1

26 August 2020 - NO360

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether he has received the correspondence from Mr M Waters regarding an outstanding amount owed by the Workmen’s Compensation Fund to the Edenvale Child Welfare; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, by what date does he intend to respond to the specified correspondence?

Reply:

Yes. The corresponded was responded to Directly to Edenvale Child Welfare on 11 December 2018 and 1 September 2019.

The records of the Compensation Fund show that the Edenvale Child Welfare owes an amount of R34 881.29 to the Compensation Fund as at

19/08/2020. The assessments for assessment years 2011; 2017; 2018 and 2019 are paid in full.

The total outstanding balance is detailed in the table below.

Assessment Year

Invoice Amount

2009

4 771.41

2010

3 471.05

2012

3 847.01

2013

3 988.83

2014

4 316.98

2015

4 470.64

2016

4 064.72

Total penalty and interest on late payment charged

5 950.65

Total outstanding as at 19/08/2020

34 881.29

Their request to waver assessments and penalties was not approved by the CF. In the correspondence with the Edenvale Child Welfare, options for repayment of the outstanding monies are provided.

26 August 2020 - NO368

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) number of active legal cases are currently open against the Compensation Fund for outstanding compensations due to medical service providers and (b) is the total value of the outstanding payments?

Reply:

There are currently 17 active legal cases currently open against the Compensation Fund for outstanding compensations due to medical service providers. The total value of the amounts payable will be determined by the courts.

02 July 2020 - NW1313

Profile picture: Groenewald, Mr IM

Groenewald, Mr IM to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether, with reference to the reply to question 1057 on 19 June 2020, and the fact that most municipalities do not apply the principle of no-work-no-pay, resulting in unprotected illegal strikes, the Government engaged with the trade unions to protect the taxpayers and ensure that they receive value for money for taxes and rates that they pay by allowing municipal employees to rather claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund during the period of lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 in line with other citizens who are on a no-work-no-pay arrangement; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Minister of Employment and Labour was neither asked nor replied to Question 1057 on 19 June 2020.

26 June 2020 - NW1036

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) amount has the Unemployment Insurance Fund paid to a certain social enterprise (name furnished) since 26 March 2020 and (b) services has the specified enterprise rendered?

Reply:

(a) No amount was paid to the enterprise

(b) Call Centre Services

26 June 2020 - NW1147

Profile picture: Denner, Ms H

Denner, Ms H to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)Whether his department purchased any goods and/or services below the amount of R500 000 connected to the Covid-19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) is the name of each company from which the specified goods and/or services were purchased, (b) is the amount of each transaction and (c) was the service and/or product that each company rendered; (2) whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the specified transactions; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) what were the reasons that the goods and/or services were purchased from the specified companies; (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. Goods and services purchased with a value below R500 000.

(a) Names of Suppliers (b) Amounts awarded (c) Product supplied

 

(a) Names of Suppliers

(b) Amounts awarded

(c) Product supplied

HEAD OFFICE

DA Elite SV

R 3850.00

Waterless hand sanitizer

Sivesethu Waste Management and Projects

R 107 500.00

Waterless hand sanitizer

Quantum Life Projects

R 175 000.00

Waterless hand sanitizer

Yalt General Trading

R 15 050.00

Latex gloves

Zans African Medical

R 255 178.56

PPE Medical kits and N95 masks

Kravisize Technologies

R 107 500.00

Face shields

Mpilonde Technologies

R 171 913.50

Protective body suits/medical gowns for inspectors

(2). All procurement stated above were done through the emergency procurement procedures as communicated by National Treasury, to avert the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and as such were reported to the National Treasury.

(a) Inspectors, essential and frontline staff dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic had to be geared and protected through the necessary PPE.

(b) Due to shortness of PPE stock at the beginning of the lockdown, all procurement had to happen quickly to ensure the spread of the virus is averted, hence the use of the emergency procedures. In most of the cases more than one quotation was sourced, but this was also mandated by National Treasury Instruction notes to assist Departments with this process.

(3) Although availability of stock was one of the deciding factors, all suppliers were sourced through the CSD and the prices were equal or lower than that on the list of suppliers provided by National Treasury.

(4) At the moment no.

19 June 2020 - NW943

Profile picture: Ngwezi, Mr X

Ngwezi, Mr X to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) What number of persons have claimed from the Compensation Fund for cases where Covid-19 is acquired occupationally since the Covid-19 pandemic has hit our shores; (2) whether any technical glitches were experienced through the Compensation Fund’s computer system (name furnished); if not, what has his department identified to be the hold up; if so, what are the full relevant details of what is being done to address the specified glitches in order to speed up the process?

Reply:

1. The Compensation Fund has received and registered 168 claims related to COVID-19.

2. There haven’t been any glitches reported to date with regards to registration and adjudication of COVID-19 claims.

19 June 2020 - NW1037

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether the Unemployment Insurance Fund has commissioned actuarial research into its financial sustainability of the Fund in the event of mass-scale job losses; if so, (a) who was the service provider and (b) what were the detailed findings?

Reply:

The Unemployment Insurance Fund did not commission Actuarial Research into its financial sustainability in the event of mass-scale job losses.

a) Not applicable since no actuarial Research conducted on sustainability of the Fund in the event of mass-scale job losses.

b) Not applicable since no actuarial Research conducted on sustainability of the Fund in the event of mass-scale job losses.

Our Actuaries have presented the following scenarios:

Scenario

Implications for finances of the UIF

   

Unemployment rate peaks at 41.4% and COVID19TERS benefits cost R48Billion

UIF becomes financially unsound as no Insurance Capital left and required to “borrow from future” by using 5% of accumulated credits. Sufficient funds should be available to pay benefits on a PAYG basis.  

It is possible that the fund could return to financial soundness in 10 years.

Unemployment rate peaks at 41.4% and COVID19TERS benefits cost R68Billion

UIF becomes financially unsound as no Insurance Capital left and required to “borrow from future” by using 60% of accumulated credits. Sufficient funds available.

It is unlikely that the fund could return to financial soundness in 10 years without a contribution increase and will essentially operate on a PAYG basis

Unemployment rate peaks at 53.7% and COVID19TERS benefits cost R48b

All accumulated credits will be depleted and the UIF would also need to borrow against beneficiaries and service providers to pay claims.

Taking liquidity of assets into account, the fund will not be able to pay all claims when due and may need to put RAF-style measures in place to prioritise / structure payments

Unemployment rate peaks at 53.7% and COVID19TERS benefits cost R68b

Possible remedies for the dire financial position of the fund under this scenario could include:

• Additional funding from Treasury

• Temporary increase in contribution rate

• Reduction in benefit

19 June 2020 - NW988

Profile picture: Denner, Ms H

Denner, Ms H to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) Whether his department awarded any tenders connected to the Covid-19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the names each tender awarded, (b) are the amounts of each tender awarded and (c) was the service and/or product to be supplied by each business; (2) whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the awarding of the tenders; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) what was the reason for which each specified business was awarded the specified tender; (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The Department of Employment and Labour did not award any tenders connected to Covid-19 pandemic. Only Personal Protective Equipment was procured during this period and that was done through the prescribed emergency procedures.

(a) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(b) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(c) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(2). (a) and (b) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during this period

(3) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(4) Emergency procurement procedure had to be applied to procure Personal Protective Equipment for all the Department of Employment and Labour officials declared as essential services, especially the Labour Inspector who had to ensure compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations during all levels of the lockdown.

19 June 2020 - NW1035

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What number of foreign national workers had their (a) applications submitted by their companies for their April wages to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)’s Covid19 TERS benefit and (b) April benefit approved and processed by the UIF by 15 May 2020?

Reply:

a) A total of 421 210 Unemployment Insurance Fund Covid-19 TERS Foreign National workers’ applications were submitted by employers for the month of April.

b) Out of the 421 210 Foreign Nationals workers UIF Covid-19 applications submitted by employers a total of 114 059 applications were approved and processed by the Unemployment Insurance Fund by 15 May 2020.

19 June 2020 - NW910

Profile picture: Marawu, Ms TL

Marawu, Ms TL to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) What (a) measures are in place to ensure that those who were drawing on the Unemployment Insurance Fund are removed from the system upon securing a permanent job, (b) steps will he take regarding the employment equity tables to provide for a small quota of non-South African nationals and (c) percentage quota will be reserved for other nationals; (2) whether the percentage quota that will be reserved for other nationals will reflect the shortage of scarce and critical skills; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1199E

Reply:

1. What (a) measures are in place to ensure that those who were drawing on the Unemployment Insurance Fund are removed from the system upon securing a permanent job

(a) There are statutory measures that are in place to ensure that those who were drawing on the Unemployment Insurance Fund are removed from the system upon securing a permanent job. These measures are outlined in the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act, 4 of 2002 (“the Act”). The provisions of section 10 (1) and (2) of the Act respectively place a duty on every employer; which the Act applies to, to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund and before the seventh day of each month, submit to the Unemployment Insurance Commissioner information relating to:

(i) The termination of the employment of any employee; and

(ii) The appointment of any employee by the employer

(b) The Department of Employment and Labour is in a process of drafting a Labour Migration Policy (LMP). The LMP is one of the Sub-themes of the National Employment Policy (NEP) that we are currently working on. The LMP covers a range of topics that include amongst others, work visas for scarce and critical skills, quotas of foreign nationals in the labour market etc. once we have completed we will publish this policy for public comment.

2. Yes, it will reflect the shortage of scarce and critical skills. Our policies provide for the importation of skills in an event that they do not exist in the country.

21 May 2020 - NW849

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What (a) total number of applications for Covid-19 relief funding have been received through the Unemployment Insurance Fund in each province to date, (b) number of the specified applications have been (i) approved and (ii) rejected in each case in each province and (c) was the Rand value of each (i) approved and (ii) rejected application in each case in each province?

Reply:

a) Provincial breakdown per province for Covid-19 benefits

Province

Employers

Employees

Amount

Eastern Cape

12953

144818

R 776 156 233.74

 

Free State

10077

89704

R 473 946 419.72

Gauteng

78007

1175703

R 6 727 878 282.04

Kwa Zulu Natal

29510

405933

R 2 121 794 517.27

Limpopo

6882

72317

R 369 951 437.25

Mpumalanga

10 816

143686

R 753 803 741.85

Northern Cape

2 925

24919

R 139 026 339.16

North West

6 432

68393

R 390 741 314.34

Western Cape

37 872

425763

R 2 325 801 123.84

Total

195 471

2 551 236

R14 079 099 409.20

b) The employers and employees not found in UIF system or rejected (not paid) per province

 

EMPLOYERS

EMPLOYEES

AMOUNT

Eastern Cape

5 066

31 735

R 130 415 911.65

Free State

3 941

19 657

R 79 636 227.49

 

Gauteng

30 510

257 636

R 1 130 471 342.60

Kwa Zulu Natal

11 542

88 954

R 356 520 703.27

Limpopo

2 692

15 847

R 621 62 167.69

Mpumalanga

4 230

31 486

R 126 660 069.10

Northern Cape

1 144

5 461

R 23 360 305.54

North West

2 516

14 987

R 65 655 447.34

Western Cape

14 813

93 299

R 390 799 507.49

Total

76 453

559 062

R 2 365 681 682.17

21 May 2020 - NW868

Profile picture: Bagraim, Mr M

Bagraim, Mr M to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)Whether his department will offer any form of Covid-19 financial and/or other relief to small businesses; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether the Covid-19 financial and/or other relief will only be allocated to qualifying small businesses according to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, Act 53 of 2003, as amended; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what statutory grounds and/or provisions does he or his department rely to allocate Covid-19 financial or other relief only to small businesses according to the specified Act and (b) what form of Covid-19 financial or other relief, if any, will be made available to other small businesses?

Reply:

  1. UIF offers Covid -19 relief benefit to all businesses that have employer and employee relationship. Other existing relief is Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) for all businesses facing financial distress and other operational challenges affecting productivity. Requirements are Turnaround plan for the business, compliant with SARS.
  2. No, only if you meet the requirements mentioned in one above.

14 May 2020 - NW706

Profile picture: Mkhaliphi, Ms HO

Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) Whether he has been informed that a certain company (name furnished) has paid its workers with loans during the period of the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which they will have to repay once they return to the workplace; if so, (2) whether he has found that this constitutes a fair labour practice; if not, on what date does he intend to engage the specified company to stop this practice?

Reply:

Our Department was made aware of this situation by the employees of the said company. Concurrently, the employees referred the matter to the

Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) for its intervention. The Federation’s intervention led to the withdrawal of the loan offer by the said

company. The company offered to pay the employees, whilst working with them to find a sustainable approach to supporting its workforce.

As the Department, we viewed the action of the company as unfair towards the employees. We are happy that an amicable solution was found.

11 May 2020 - NW641

Profile picture: Mente-Nqweniso, Ms NV

Mente-Nqweniso, Ms NV to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether there is a way for persons who lost income and qualify for relief to register through SMS and/or WhatsApp where they do not have access to the internet to register online; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

According to the Directives for COVID-19 TERS, published by Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr TW Nxesi, employers are obliged to apply on behalf of their employees for the Covid-19 TERS Benefit. Furthermore, the Directives provide for Bargaining Councils or Entities that are legal bodies to apply for employees. Therefore, employees can have their applications made through any of the above options. Bargaining Councils or Entities or Employers are encouraged to apply for employees as it is them who have the information, systems and tools that will enable an efficient application process. In addition, Bargaining Councils or Entities or Employers are obliged through an Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to commit to certain conditions, which they can be held liable for should they fail to honour.

11 May 2020 - NW603

Profile picture: Chabangu, Mr M

Chabangu, Mr M to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether his department is considering to introduce a jobs protection bill in light of the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19?

Reply:

There is currently no intention to introduce a jobs protection bill. The Department is however in the process of developing a national employment policy that would amongst others address the notion of protection of jobs. This policy will have to be presented to parliament when it is done.

28 April 2020 - NW428

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether the National Minimum Wage Commission has conducted research into the impact of the national minimum wage on (a) employment and (b) poverty levels; if so, (i) what are the relevant details and (ii) by what date will the research be made publicly available?

Reply:

The National Minimum Wage Commission is required by section 11 (b) of the National Minimum Act to investigate and report annually to the Minister on the impact of the national minimum wage on the economy, collective bargaining and in conducting that exercise, they have outsourced a research that will inform the adjustment to the national minimum wage level.

For the 2020 adjustment the researchers experienced some challenges such as the fact that accurately isolating the main effects of the NMW would require a reasonable time to have elapsed after the introduction of the NMW, and given that the NMW came into effect in January 2019, a comprehensive study on the short-term impacts in South Africa could not justifiable begin until after June 2020.

Also, there is an unavoidable time lag in the release of the quarterly survey (Quarterly Labour Force Statistics) by Stats SA that the researchers use to obtain the relevant labour market information that they need to accurately analyse the impact of the NMW.

These challenges inadvertently led to the delay in the reviewing of the national minimum wage which was only reviewed and implemented on the 1st March 2020 by CPI 3.8% in order to protect low-income workers from erosion in their incomes.

For the 2021 adjustment, the Commission is intending to publish a comprehensive research in the second half of the year into the overall impact of the national minimum wage on employment, poverty and inequality. This is however dependent on the progress that will be given by the researchers on the meeting scheduled for the 24th March 2020.

28 April 2020 - NW427

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

What number of (a) small-, (b) medium- and (c) micro-enterprises (i) applied for and (ii) received exemptions from the extension of collective bargaining agreements in (aa) 2017, (bb) 2018 and (cc) 2019?

Reply:

Honourable Dr MJ Cardo, the bargaining councils furnished the Registrar of Labour Relations with the aggregated figures of exemptions from SMMEs. They classify them all under small business.

  • For 2017, bargaining councils with extended collective bargaining to non-parties received from SMMEs a total of 1388 exemption applications. 1266 were granted; 91 were refused; and 17 were either withdrawn or still under consideration by end of 2017.
  • For 2018, bargaining councils received from SMMEs a total of 2764 exemption applications. 2588 were granted; 114 were refused; and 93 were either withdrawn or still under consideration by end of 2018.
  • In 2019, bargaining councils received from SMMEs a total of 1712 exemption applications, 1464 were granted; 168 were refused; and 76 were either withdrawn or still under consideration by end of 2019

06 April 2020 - NW429

Profile picture: Cardo, Dr MJ

Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)With regard to the Compensation Fund’s new electronic system, CompEasy (S4i) introduced in October 2019, what total amount (a) did the system cost and (b) of claims have been (i) lodged and (ii) paid since the new system was introduced; (2) whether the new system was parallel-tested with the old system; if not, why not?

Reply:

1. CompEasy (S4i) information:

(a) R 143 million

(b) Claims processed in the system since introduction of the new claim system:

i.Medical invoices processed 170 955

ii. Claims Registered 15 428

iii. Claims Paid:

  1. to medical service providers on CompEASY is R103 million
  2. to medical service providers on SAP ECC R 479 million
  3. to pensioners and beneficiaries R465 million

2. Adequate User Acceptance Testing and Quality Assurance was provided during the development of the new system prior to introducing the system. The gradual release of the functionalities in the system also assisted Users to test the system internally and give feedback before it is released to the public.

There is no legal or operational requirement to parallel test a system. Based on the control weaknesses in the old system, parallel testing would have continued to expose the Fund to fraudulent and invalid claims.

On the payment side the Fund continued to pay claims both on the new CompEasy system and on the old SAP ECC.

06 April 2020 - NW373

Profile picture: Mkhaliphi, Ms HO

Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

Whether the Compensation Fund has fixed errors and glitches of the recently introduced CompEasy payment system which led to the non-payment of beneficiaries and service providers; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what date was the system fixed and (b) what total amount has the Compensation Fund paid to beneficiaries and service providers since the system was fixed?

Reply:

The Compensation Fund has introduced the new CompEASY System in October 2019 and has progressively introduced new functionality and made improvements on some function based on feedback from users:

  • User Registration was introduced on 1 October 2019
  • Claims Registration was introduced on 14 October for internal users and 18 October 2019 for external users
  • Electronic Medical Claims batch submission and internal medical claims capturing on 1 November 2019
  • External Medical Claims and Pre Authorisation application released on 9 February 2020

Total amount paid since October 2019:

  • to medical service providers on CompEASY is R103 million
  • to medical service providers on SAP ECC R479 million
  • to pensioners and beneficiaries R465 million