Written by on April 9, 2024

Written by: Tasha Siziba

The South African Federation of Trade Unions is concerned that R23 billion from the Unemployment
Insurance Fund is being used for employment-creating schemes through the Labour Activation
The union suggests that instead of investing in projects that benefit the parasitic bourgeois without
benefiting the contributing workers, the money should be spent on other projects.
SAFTU proposes an increase in the minimum pay rate for unemployment benefits from 58% to 70%,
and an adjustment of the income cap from R17,712 to R25,000.
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi launched labour activation programs to create
employment opportunities for Gauteng residents especially the youth.
These programmes comes as South Africa’s Unemployment Rate rises to 32.1% from 31.9% in third
Nxesi announced that his department will invest R8,2 billion in the program.
SAFTU National Spokesperson Trevor Shaku, said the recent mismanagement of UIF funds by
Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has raised suspicions about potential bribery from
companies involved in the department.
“He was again alleged to have influenced the irregular awarding of LAP tenders involving R3 billion
by a former employee in an affidavit. The two separate sets of allegations, including an allegation
under oath, leave us to speculatively conclude that the current LA programmes could be awarded
based on corruption and might not create the envisioned job opportunities.”
In November 2023, he was accused of soliciting a R5 billion bribe from Mthunzi Mdwaba for an LA
Programme, which he denied, leaving doubts.
Shaku says the implementation of LA programmes may be underway due to Minister Nxesi and his
associates' desire to raise electioneering funds for the ruling party.
The programme may create limited job opportunities for electioneering, particularly for positions
lasting 12 to 36 months. This indicates that these opportunities will not be sustainable, Shaku said.
“SAFTU is not opposed in principle to the use of UIF surpluses for developmental purposes. In fact,
we have contended that the UIF surpluses must be invested in infrastructural developments
including helping the government set up public companies that will lead to economic growth,
employment creation and provide affordable (if not free) goods and services to the people.”
SAFTU believes the LA programme aims to transform the Department of Employment and Labour
into a job-creating entity, neglecting labour market regulation, employer compliance, and UIF fund
Shaku reiterates by saying, the capitalist mode of production, primarily organized for profit
extraction, contributes to unsustainable job opportunities in these projects.

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