Workers hit by South Africa’s looting will be paid out by government – how to apply

 ·11 Aug 2021

Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nexsi has established a temporary relief scheme aimed at giving relief to vulnerable workers impacted by the recent looting and unrest.

In a government gazette published on Tuesday (10 August), Nxesi said that the relief will be given to those who are unable to work because of the closure of workplaces as a result of the unrest.

These workers will be paid on a scale as follows:

  • Income replacement is calculated at the rate of a sliding scale (38%-60%) based on the employee’s remuneration;
  • The remuneration to be taken into account in calculating the relief is capped at a maximum amount of R17,712 per month;
  • If income replacement falls below R3,500, the worker must be paid a replacement income equal to that amount.

Despite the above calculation, the gazette states that the minister can, if financial considerations dictate, determine a flat rate for the financial relief.

Additionally, an employee may only receive temporary financial relief if the total of the relief together with any additional payment towards relief or salary is not more than the remuneration that the employee would ordinarily have received for working during that period.

The gazette also states that the payment should only be made directly into a worker’s bank account.

How to apply 

To avoid any in-person employee applications, an employer who has had to close their business as a result of the unrest must apply for relief on behalf of their employees.

To do so they must satisfy the following requirements:

  • It must register and be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF);
  • The employer’s closure must be directly linked to the destruction, damage or looting of its workplace;
  • It must confirm in writing or electronically that it accepts the terms of the scheme;
  • It must provide details of the destruction or damage to, or looting of, its workplace and submit documentary proof of a report to the South African Police Services and proof that a case has been opened with a case number;
  • If insured, the employer should also submit proof of submission and acknowledgement of receipt of the insurance claim.

The employer must apply by reporting the closure of the workplace as a result of the unrest by complying with the application procedure issued by the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Read: The most difficult job in South Africa right now

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