The Event Sector, UIF and TERS: Where Do We Go From Here?


Event Africa Contributor 01/09/2021 Uncategorized

With lockdown lasting far longer than anticipated, many industries have taken a huge knock to their respective businesses, with business events and tourism arguably taking one of the hardest hits. But government support like TERS and UIF present their own set of problems. Maegan-Leigh Jacobs reports.

SAACI (Southern African Association for Conference Industry) and TBCSA (Tourism Business Council of South Africa) have hosted a number of webinars unpacking and addressing the challenges experienced by the Events industry when applying for UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) and TERS (Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme).

After the latest few webinars, we have detailed several frequently asked questions regarding UIF TERS, and how the events industry can best go about applying for these payments.

Do we need to do a sector appeal per application?

According to Allen Ragavaloo, the UIF Director for Provincial Support, businesses that have had their appeals approved in the iteration periods of seven, eight and ten do not have to repeat their appeals. However, when it comes to iteration period 9, which solely focuses on the events sector, the business will have to lodge a new appeal. This is due to the iteration periods of seven, eight and ten being a combination of Annexures A and B, which include restaurants and accommodation.

Therefore, if your business has appealed as accommodation, you will then need to lodge a new appeal if you’re applying for the events section of your business. Be sure to include all necessary documentation.

If my sector appeal has been rejected, may I appeal this?

Yes, businesses can definitely appeal if they have been rejected as there is always a reason as to why this has happened. If you can provide information that justifies the error that caused the rejection, then your sector appeal will be approved once processed.

Businesses need to keep in mind that it is imperative to supply:

  • The correct documentation when applying,
  • The correct SARS zip code and reference numbers according to your business/sector,
  • The correct banking details and
  • The correct identification for the employee(s) that are applying for these payments.

What is the turnaround time for payments to be made after my application has been processed?

UIF TERS try and pay within a fourteen-day cycle if there are no issues. Should any problems or challenges arise with your documentation, the turnaround time will naturally be longer.

Continuous communication problems encountered when submitting applications

Allan Ragavaloo has made himself available for a number of webinars to address the questions that employees from different industries have regarding UIF TERS. However, what seems to be a prevalent issue is the communication lines between the UIF Call Centre and those who are responsible for addressing the issues employees are having when submitting their applications.

“We are having some technical issues at the call centre; we are aware of this and we are in communication with Telkom to resolve this issue,” says Ragavaloo. The UIF Call Centre is the main line of communication that is meant to assist employees when they receive an error message within the application process – but assistance from the call centre has been scarce.

Natalia Rosa of Big Ambitions, who was the moderator for the SAACI UIF webinar, mentioned that the system is “broken”. Employees are having issues with their applications, receiving error messages but there is no communication line assisting these employees in resolving these issues. The call centre agents have failed in responding to employees or in being a guide to successfully fix the issues on hand.

Frustrations are high from both the events and tourism industry as we wait on solutions to the various challenges employees are facing with these applications.

Event Africa will keep you abreast of any new updates to these funds and the challenges that arise. Any readers who have information or insight on the subject are encouraged to send an email to digital@filmeventmedia.co.za.