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The Unemployment Insurance Fund and employers will take turns to pay weekly wages during the 21-day lockdown period. The UIF has assets of about R180 billion and both Cosatu and Business Unity South Africa have pressured the government to use the money to help workers in need.

The national bargaining council for the clothing manufacturing industry has reached an agreement with the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to ensure that workers are not left destitute with no income during the lockdown period. South Africa will, for now, only be in lockdown for three weeks but the agreement makes provision for the possibility of a six-week lockdown period.

The UIF and companies will take turns to pay worker’s wages during the lockdown. The UIF will pay the money to the council – into a designated bank account. These funds will be distributed to various companies. The regulations stipulate firmly that the money cannot be used for anything other than worker payments. Those who misuse the funds will be prosecuted.

Business Insider SA

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