It was always going to be tough for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to rise to its biggest challenge yet when the government chose it to run a scheme aimed at softening the economic impact of Covid-19 on businesses and their employees.

With a nudge from the business leaders, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s team came up with a form of salary protection under which the UIF would pay out R3,500-R6,700 for three months until end-June to workers forfeiting their salaries during the lockdown...

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