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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Claim that foreigners in SA are excluded from UIF payments refuted

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Allegations that foreigners working in South Africa are being excluded from benefiting from UIF payments have been refuted.

UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping said: “For as long as foreign national workers and their employers have contributed to the UIF, there is no way they can be excluded from benefiting.”

Maruping said: “So, any talk that suggests unwillingness to pay these benefits to our brothers and sisters who have found a home in this country and are part and parcel of our economy is devoid of truth.

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“We will not allow that and we are committed to the spirit and letter of the Constitution, which guarantees equality to all who live in the country.”

“On June 1, the Fund paid an amount of R275 139 235 to 1637 employers with 65 823 foreign national workers standing to benefit. This is in addition to 23 000 paid last week, and in total 88 823 foreign national workers have been paid to the tune of R375 139 235,” said Maruping.

He said: “What is true, however, is that payments to workers of foreign nationality have taken longer because of multi-layered processes that are used to capture their information.

“Generally, UIF uses the ID number to capture information and process payment. In this particular case, passport numbers are used and these have to be verified through interaction with sister institutions like the Department of Home Affairs, and at times with the SA Revenue Service.

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“Clearly, with such processes involved, it is likely that there would be some delays but the minister has instructed the UIF to ensure that these delays are minimised or shortened tremendously.

“It is also important that these workers are legally in the country, properly documented and are declared by their employers.”

UIF spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi said: “To speed up the processes, the UIF has appealed to employers and bargaining councils who are applying on behalf of their workers to ensure that the following details are supplied when applying:

– Name and surname.

– ID, passport number or work permit number or any other method of identification.

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– Proof of how the employee was declared at UIF and/or SarsA.

– Three months bank statements showing payment of salary to that staff member.

“With all this information supplied, the UIF will ensure that no further delays are occasioned for any worker,” said Buthelezi, adding “so far, the UIF has paid R17 262 056 961.36 for the benefit of 3 465 315 workers.” IOL

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