Taking COSATU Today Forward
‘Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense’-Maoo
Our side of the story
Tuesday, 9 November 2021
‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’
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UIF commences payment of unrest support relief scheme by disbursing R6.4 million to workers
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has commenced payments of the Workers Affected By Unrest (WABU) Relief Scheme and has so far disbursed R6.4 million to 1 402 workers that were affected by the July 2021 unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
The payments were made from applications received from 10 employers whose applications were tested against stringent criteria which involves checking if workers have been registered and declared with the UIF, monthly contributions are up to date, as well as physical inspections of affected businesses.
Since the opening of the application process in August 2021, the UIF has received applications from 500 employers on behalf of close to 16 000 workers.
“From the 500 employer applications received, we have paid 1 402 workers, which is not a great number considering that 16 000 workers have applied. We are however, not worried about this seemingly low number because it shows the robustness of our verification process, which ensures that only those who meet our standards are fit for payment,” said UIF Acting Commissioner, Advocate Mzie Yawa.
Due to hard lessons learned from Covid-19 TERS payments, the UIF has had to vigilantly carry out due diligence and thorough verification before making any payments. Already, the Fund has identified several WABU claims that have been submitted to other insurance companies where salaries are covered, some applied for and shall get help from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) which also covers salaries in their intervention. Yet some of these employers still applied for UIF’s WABU benefit.
“We have also noted that some employers have used false SAPS case numbers and luckily our system can pick up through checks that the cases are not genuine. We urge all to act honestly, these are hard-earned monies for vulnerable workers, not get rich quick schemes,” said Yawa
Some of the claims have been rejected because they have failed to meet the basic minimum requirements such as correct identity numbers, correct banking details, no UIF declarations and no UIF contributions found.
“We still have payments that bounce back due to incorrect banking details and we again appeal to employers to ensure that they supply us with correct bank accounts of their workers,” said Yawa.
The Fund recognises that some of the rejected applications are caused by genuine mistakes committed by employers and will communicate with them to make corrections for workers not to lose their benefits.
The bulk of the applications have been picked up as beneficiaries from South African Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA) and Department of Trade and Industry and Competition, and the Fund is running checks if those claims cover salaries and wages - and if they do, they will be rejected to prevent double-dipping.
The WABU benefit is paid directly into the employee's bank account and is calculated at a flat rate of R3 500. The benefit is de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefits, which means workers’ accumulated credits are not used to calculate the benefit amount payable to the beneficiary. This will enable workers who have no credits to receive financial support whilst their workplaces are in the process of rebuilding or reopening.
William Mabapa, NUM Acting General Secretary, 09 November 2021
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) calls on the Eskom board and Executive under the leadership of Andre De Ruyter to resign. The leadership of De Ruyter has sold South Africans a dead cat. They promised that they will resolve the problem of load shedding in 18 months. They dismally failed to meet their set target. All we need is the leadership that will keep the lights burning.
"The electricity situation in this country has reached a crisis level. We need the government to provide leadership by declaring this situation a national crisis. Workers are losing their jobs and income. Small and medium businesses are suffering while some are closing. All this is happening while the economy is still trying to recover from the COVID-19 impact," said William Mabapa, NUM Acting General Secretary.
"The Eskom leadership presented a turnaround strategy that is not tailored to solve the load shedding problems that we are experiencing now. A turnaround strategy is supposed to have short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions. The strategy presented by De Ruyter focused on unbundling Eskom and disposing of some of its assets. Unbundling is presented as a panacea for all Eskom problems. The NUM is on record as opposed to this way of thinking," Mabapa added.
The executive leadership of De Ruyter has been undermining trade unions. They do not respect the agreements with trade unions. They have changed workers' conditions of employment unilaterally. Andre De Ruyter and his executive operate as if there are no trade unions at Eskom.
The executive leadership of De Rutyer and the board must do South African a favour and resign from their positions or the government must intervene and release this incompetent and useless leadership.
We call on the government to set up a team of competent South Africans to run Eskom while waiting for the appointment of a new board and executives.
8 November, 2021
IndustriALL, together with global unions PSI and IUF, has launched a LabourStart campaign calling for the release trade unionist Ramzi Dardar, jailed on made-up terrorist charges.
For many years, independent trade unions in Algeria demanding rights and recognition have faced repression, which has now intensified with the emergence of the mass movement for democracy, the Hirak. Mass dismissals of union leaders and members, union offices closed and sealed by the police, harassment and imprisonment make up the ongoing repression which has entered a new and dangerous phase.
On 30 June, Algerian police arrested trade union leader Ramzi Dardar, an auto mechanic and elected leader of the Union Algérienne des Industries (UAI), which represents informal industrial sector workers and is affiliated to the independent confederation COSYFOP. Dardar is accused of terrorism and of undermining the morale of the army and national unity through his publications on social networks.
Global unions IndustriALL, PSI and IUF called on the ILO to intervene and demand that the government releases Dardar and drops all charges against him. The Algerian government responded by transferring Dardar to a prison block for death row inmates. A trial date has yet to be set. Alarming reports indicate that his physical and mental health are deteriorating.
Please sign and share the LabourStart campaign calling on the Algerian government to immediately and unconditionally release Ramzi Dardar and fully respect the trade union and democratic rights set out in international standards, including ILO Conventions.
IndustriALL’s third Congress passed a resolution condemning the repression of free trade unions in Algeria, and calling for the release of all pro-democracy activists, in particular trade unionist Ramzi Dardar.
The resolution, which was passed, says:
Norman Mampane (Shopsteward Editor)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street, Braamfontein, 2017
P.O.Box 1019, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct line: 010 219-1348