Alert Level 4 restrictions: UIF TERS urgently needed to support businesses
With the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last night that South Africa will move to Adjusted Alert Level 4 restrictions for the next 14 days it is critical that national government provide a support package for business whose operations are limited or shutdown.
And so, I have written to the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to request that he reopen the UIF Covid-19 TERS scheme for the duration of the Alert Level 4 restrictions to assist businesses and employees who are not able to operate.
Many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and liquor sectors have already been hard-hit with significant job losses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Wine farms, restaurants and coffee shops cannot survive on takeaways alone. Two weeks of no income for these businesses, as well as cinemas, gyms, casinos, conferencing venues and theatres, will have a direct and sudden impact on people’s livelihoods – their ability to pay salaries, rent and buy food.
The UIF TERS funds could provide the lifeline that businesses and employees need to sustain their operations while these restrictions on the economy are in place.
The Western Cape government has focused on getting the balance right between preventing the spread of Covid-19 while keeping the economy as open as possible, saving both lives and livelihoods.
We have worked hard to support businesses to open safely by providing extensive guidance and assistance in implementing the necessary Covid-19 protocols in the workplace.
And we encourage both employers and employees to continue making use of our comprehensive guidelines and other resources to implement the necessary health and safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace: coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-resources-workplaces
We all have a role to play to stop the spread of Covid-19 and it remains all our responsibility to continue adhering to the health protocols required to stop the spread of Covid-19.
We can also support those businesses that are impacted by the restrictions. We know times are tough, but if you can, please support our restaurant sector and order takeaways over the next two weeks, especially from small businesses.
Together we will stay safe, and we will move forward so that we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.
Listen to soundbyte from Minister David Maynier:
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 071 087 5150