In a written response to a question from the Democratic Alliance in parliament in Cape Town, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant revealed that less than two percent of the training layoff scheme’s R1.2bn budget had been spent.
Oliphant told parliament that only R20 046 000 was distributed to companies to cushion workers against the threat of retrenchment by providing a training stipend.
“The UIF [Unemployment Insurance Fund] board recommended to the minister of labour who approved on 23 September 2009 to commit R1.2bn of the fund’s money for the ‘training layoff schemes’,” Oliphant said, acknowledging the slow take-up in the scheme.
The DA had argued that very little was being done to ensure the scheme functioned as it should.”By 2011, less than one percent of the 900 000 workers who had lost their jobs between 2009 and 2011, had benefited from the scheme,” it said.
“With 7 573 000 unemployed South Africans, it is condemnable that government has failed to make the training layoff scheme funds available for workers facing retrenchment.”