INSIDE VIEW

HILARY JOFFE: Cyril and his money people can do more to help with Ters

Extending the scheme is estimated to cost only R2.5bn a month and the fund arguably still has plenty of liquidity

24 January 2021 - 00:08 By Hilary Joffe

Labour & employment director-general Thobile Lamati believes total job losses could hit 3-million as a result of Covid, and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has set aside R40bn to cover this. It’s why the government believes the fund can’t afford to extend the Covid-Temporary Employment Relief Scheme (Ters) through which the UIF has paid close to R60bn to millions of employees hit by the crisis.

Lamati’s view (shared with Business Times this week) is an outside one. Though SA took eight quarters to shed 1-million jobs at the time of the global financial crisis, economists doubt the pattern will be identical this time. Official figures show that 2.2-million jobs were lost in the hard lockdown second quarter, but 543,000 of those returned in the third quarter as the economy reopened...

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