UIF applicants sleep at Department of Labour offices in Polokwane to avoid long queues

ques - UIF applicants sleep at Department of Labour offices in Polokwane to avoid long queues

Some Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) applicants say they have been sleeping at the Department of Labour offices in Polokwane because the queue is long and the service is slow.

Applicants who have been in the queue since Monday say they sleep outside the offices at night because they do not have money to travel home every day.

They say they start queueing at three o’clock in the morning.

“We sleepover here because we have been coming daily and going home without help and we no longer have taxi fare to come here daily. By sleeping over we hope we will be here first to be assisted. We don’t want to come here daily hence we decided to sleepover so that we can start queuing at around 3am. We want to be helped first before they tell us that the system is off.”

Hundreds queue at UIF offices:

Labour spokesperson, Lerato Mashamba, says their system has been unstable, and they are also receiving an increased number of claims due to job losses in different sectors.

“We are receiving large numbers of applications from clients due to the pandemic, as there has been a number of retrenchment that has been happening throughout the country. However, due to the influx of clients visiting our offices, we are experiencing an unstable system. We do apologise for the inconvenience caused, however, for clients who are turned back on a daily basis we do ensure that we do prioritise them. Clients are given numbers and are turned back and advised to come as early as possible so that they are the ones who are assisted first.”

UIF’s chief director, Advocate Mzwanele Yawa has also urged people to use other avenues when enquiring about the status of their UIF applications.

The UIF has further indicated that there are no set deadlines for COVID-19 benefit applications or any other claims.

IF commissioner Teboho Maruping explains the UIF claim process : 

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