With lockdown having been extended last week for an additional two weeks, companies may find themselves having to shut their doors.
The unwelcome and unavoidable result of this is that folks will become unemployed and will be heading to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for relief.
In order to assist its customers in need, Vodacom has announced that it is working to zero-rate the UIF’s uFiling website.
This will allow Vodacom customers to visit the website and file an application without the need for airtime or data. Perhaps more importantly, however, being able to file an application online is far safer given the need for social distancing.
“Online applications will limit the number of people who physically go to the Labour Centres, thereby contributing to government’s call for social distancing to manage the spread of the virus. Customers can access the website through our free ConnectU portal in addition to a host of other essential services,” said chief executive officer for the Vodacom Group, Shameel Joosub.
“Helping to address societal challenges, such as that posed by Covid-19, is part of the Vodacom Group’s broader commitment to create a Social Contract with its stakeholders in the markets where it operates. It will take a collaborative effort to beat this pandemic which is why we have already concluded partnerships with the National Department of Health, Discovery, Samsung and now the UIF, amongst others,” added Joosub.
The UIF has committed to payouts amounting to R10 billion for this financial year in order to cope with COVID-19 cases. By 8th April the fund had received 22 000 claims. This figure is expected to rise, however, as more companies close or cut salaries in order to survive.
As Joosub mentioned, the uFiling website is accessible through Vodacom’s ConnectU platform.