The DA welcomes the decision - taken in principle - to extend the TERS scheme for workers affected by the Level 4 lockdown regulations. But the Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr Thulas Nxesi, must shed light on the nuts and bolts of the extension.
The agreement to reinstate TERS payments was reportedly reached at Nedlac on Sunday, but the finer details are still being worked out and will have to be approved by the National Coronavirus Command Council and the Cabinet.
The Cabinet, and Minister Nxesi in particular, must move with great speed to finalise and communicate the details.
When the TERS scheme was extended between October 2020 and March 2021, many workers who should have qualified for payments found that several obstacles were thrown in their way by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
Many workers in the hotel industry, for example, struggled to get their dues because the UIF claimed that their employers were registered with incorrect Standard Industrial Classifications.
The current Level 4 lockdown regulations affect, among others, thousands of workers in the alcohol, restaurant and hospitality industries, as well as the tourism, weddings and conferencing sectors.
Many desperate workers have now been deprived of their usual income. They deserve to know exactly what relief they can expect and whether it will last for the duration of the Level 4 lockdown regulations, should the lockdown be prolonged beyond 11 July.
For as long as the government prevents people from participating in the economy, it has a duty to mitigate the devastating economic impact with financial assistance.
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