Employees at Formex in Markman protest outside the business. Picture: WERNER HILLS
Employees at Formex in Markman protest outside the business. Picture: WERNER HILLS

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the government’s main instrument to cushion workers left without an income due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will test the opening of its June applications with a few employers on Friday.

The June applications for the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) have been closed twice since last week Thursday because of a glitch in the system that showed applicants’ confidential information.

Ters and Covid-19 temporary relief grants were established as a key part of the government’s R500bn economic and social relief package to help those affected by a lockdown that’s set to push the economy into its biggest slump in about a century.

The relief scheme, which, by June 25, had paid out R26bn to 5.8-million employees, has been hit by technical teething issues, including problems with its registration system.

The technical issues further delayed the payment of the Ters benefit leaving millions of workers waiting for their money.

UIF spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi said testing on the system was done and indicated that the glitch still persisted. He said more servers were added to handle the volumes of applications, as the system is still processing April and May applications.

“We’re looking at testing with a few employers [on Friday] to see how it responds. The servers will increase the capacity to enable us to process more than 5,000 sessions/transactions running at the same time,” Buthelezi said.

Business for SA’s Rob Legh said the system was up and running earlier on Thursday, but then seemed to be down again for other issues. Earlier this week, the UIF said the problem was with simultaneously running sessions.

“When the system runs two or more sessions simultaneously, it swaps the profiles while the users are still busy, which means it fails to run each session consistently until the end,” it said.

“The fund has developed a solution to the system to ensure that sessions run consistently until the end without picking information from other users who may be in the system at the same time.” 

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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