Cosatu angered by NCCC decision to not extend COVID-19 relief fund

The labour federation Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it is shocked and angered over a decision by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to reportedly not extend COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).

Business for South Africa has issued a statement saying it is concerned over the decision as President Cyril Ramaphosa had previously committed that the benefit would be available until the end of the State of Disaster.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) says it has spent over R51 billion in payments to help workers, business and the economy mitigate the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on workers.

Cosatu’s Parliamentary Coordinator Matthew Parks says, “We are quite shocked and angered about it as Cosatu, when the NCCC took the decision without engaging with partners – labour, business and elect to cancel it. It is an act of bad faith and it is a blunder because it is going to put those people who are at risk in absolute poverty…”

Parks says, “They must stay at home with no chance of getting income or they must simply defy the restrictions of the lockdown and go back to work which might contribute towards the 2nd wave and affect their health. We are also issuing a statement calling on the president to intervene because we can’t have the president say one thing to the nation and have some decide otherwise.”