Labour Department’s UIF embarks on serious job creation drive
11 Jul 2012
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner Boas Seruwe said that the Fund plans to inject a substantial part of its growing accumulated surplus reserves of R65-billion in more job creation initiatives and expand its social benefits initiatives to cushion the growing poverty.
Mr Seruwe told the Department of Labour’s (DoL) Annual Evaluation of the 2011/2012 Financial Year workshop in Muldersdrift that ends today that the accumulated surplus in the period ended March 31, 2012 had increased from R37 –billion to R48 billion, and the aim was also ‘to pay quality benefits to clients’.
“We cannot be happy to hold such enormous assets in UIF while we operate in a sea of poverty. The process of improving benefits is already underway. We hope to finalise improvements with amendments in legislation,” Seruwe said.
UIF and the Compensation Fund (CF) are public entities of the DoL. The UIF provides relief to unemployed while searching for new employment. While the Compensation Fund provides insurance for workers injured during work.
Department of Labour Director General Nkosinathi Nhleko said the UIF and Compensation Fund (CF), though were operating as relief organisations and also as sort of insurance operations their long term sustenance was critical to the long-term achievement of the work and objectives of the department.
“The operations of the two public entities need to be managed in a balanced manner. While they collect revenue, they also have an obligation to pay claims,” Nhleko said.
In the period under review the UIF had grown its investments by 22%, from R52-billion to R64-billion - a large portion of them are held with the Public Investment Corporation, some invested in job creation initiatives with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and also in the money markets.
Meanwhile, UIF’s total asset base has grown from R54-billion to R65-billion. While the benefit expenditure increased by 19% from R5, 3-billion to R4, 2 billion. In the past financial year UIF made collections of R12, 4 billion, a 10% increase. Currently, UIF has more than 35 000 employers in its system using the U-Filling, an electronic payment system of the Fund.
Seruwe said in an attempt to ensure long-term survival, the Fund has embarked on an anti-corruption trail and this was beginning to yield results with 85 cases currently being finalised.
Turning to poverty and job creation initiatives Seruwe said the Fund had a programme to develop young people in information technology programmes including a number of joint initiatives with organisations such as Telkom, the IT Seta in which more than 1 800 unemployed people are benefiting.
Seruwe said the UIF’s investments of R4-billion in job creation ventures through the Industrial Development have seen some 34 000 people benefiting with 16 000 jobs being created against 18 000 saved.
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Issued by: Department of Labour
11 Jul 2012
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