South Africa is 15 days into the national lockdown in a bid to halt the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus, the lockdown has been extended to the 30th of April. As the president stated in his address to all South Africans on Thursday, 10 April 2020, “I have to ask you to make even greater sacrifices so that our country may survive this crisis and so that tens of thousands of lives may be saved.”
While we’re still processing the announcement by the president, we are grateful for this decisive leadership that is placing the value of people’s lives above all else. We hope that the lockdown will yield the desired effect so we can operate as an interactive society once again, as we recover from the ramifications of COVID-19.
How are you? For real.
In this extremely challenging time, we’d like to encourage you to take care of yourselves physically, emotionally and mentally. As we often advise you on our social media platforms, when you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, bath, and get dressed. It’s the little things that make a difference. Should you be struggling with your emotional and mental wellness, or maybe just need someone to talk to, SADAG (http://www.sadag.org/) is a great resource on which you can lean. The organization offers free telephonic counselling, chats to counsellors via WhatsApp, and much more.
To find out how you can access food parcels, you can call the National Covid-19 Hotline on
0800 029 999 or your local councillor.
Gauteng residents can call the Gauteng Hotline for food parcels and dignity packs on 0800 4288 364.
How are we?
We’re trying our best to be alright and take care of ourselves as well. We welcome the long Easter Weekend to rest and focus on general wellness.
On Tuesday, 14th April 2020, we shall continue to offer clients our full portfolio of permanent and contract recruitment as well as servicing all payroll requirements.
Our service offerings still include contingent workforce management, permanent and contract recruitment, talent community mapping, mobility, and payroll outsourcing.
We’re available on our telephone number: (+27)11 484 9339 and you can email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) information for employees and employers:
In the address to the nation, the president stated that, The Unemployment Insurance Fund has set aside R40 billion to help employees who will be unable to work, as part of the effort to prevent job losses as a result of the lockdown. To date, it has paid out R356 million.”
Should you qualify, please access this funding by applying to the UIF as an individual or request your employer to apply, on your behalf.
The UIF offers assistance under the following circumstances:
– SMMEs struggling to make enough profit to pay their workers are having to let go of some staff. If you’re in the process of being retrenched because of these reasons, propose a mutual separation agreement so that there is a chance for you to return to the company once financial stability has been restored. You will also be eligible to claim from the UIF.
– Similarly, if your work hours have been cut short as a result of the lock down or your salary has been reduced, you, or ideally your employer, can claim from UIF via a UI-19 form that can be completed and submitted online.
– Employees placed under quarantine due to suspected COVID 19 exposure, whose income was affected as a result, can apply for an “illness benefit.” The conditions are that the self-quarantine period must have been before the national lockdown and your employer must agree.
– If you are currently unemployed and are unable to seek employment due to Covid-19 and have contributed to the UIF during previous employment
– In the event that an employee passes away, certain beneficiaries may apply for benefits through the UIF. Employers will be required to complete a UI-19.
For more info: https://www.ufiling.co.za/uif/
Relief Funds for Businesses:
Further financial aid has been made available for businesses as well. In addition to SARS offering specific tax relief during this period, there are various sources of funding that you may be eligible to apply to:
– Many government departments are providing sector specific funding. Information on how to apply is available on their respective websites.
– There is an SME Debt Relief fund as well as an SME Growth and Resilience fund. Information on both funds is available at: www.smmesa.gov.
– The UIF has established a temporary relief fund for businesses to apply on behalf of employees. Here’s how: http://www.labour.gov.za/DocumentCenter/Publications/Unemployment%20Insurance%20Fund/COVID19%20TERS%20Easy%20Aid_.pdf
– Sukuma Relief Fund (https://finance.businesspartners.co.za/welcome-to-thesukuma-
relief-programme/) and the SA Future Trust (https://opp-gen.com/saft/)
– The IDC (www.idc.co.za) has established the Covid-19 Essential Supplies Intervention
– The NEF Covid-19 Fund (www.nefcorp.co.za)
Banks are also offering financial relief for SMMEs. Check with your bank what you may qualify for.
For updated Covid-19 information from the South African Government , check out: http://www.gov.za/Coronavirus
How can you help?
If you’re able to, search for local food banks, soup kitchens and charity organisations that are helping those in dire need. You may be able to make a monetary or food donation. Also look out for neighbours you know who may struggle to get to shops during this time or may themselves need assistance while also observing the lockdown regulations.
You can also donate to the Solidarity Fund set up by the south African Government: https://www.solidarityfund.co.za/
This Too Shall Pass
Remaining positive does not mean you have to be happy all the time, it means that even on hard days, you know that there are better ones coming.
May we all try our very best to remain positive.