More mothers with newborn babies tell of months-long struggles to make ends meet after waiting for their Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payouts.
Phindiwe Rabodiba said she had to take out loans while she waited for UIF to pay.
“I had to take a loan equivalent to my salary to make ends meet for the first month and the second month,” Rabodiba said.
Rabodiba said it was hard because her unemployed mother had to help her to pay for essential items, despite her maternity claim being submitted in February.
“I had to negotiate with my creditors. Now I am paying back interest and making double payments,” she said.
New mom tells of 8-month struggle for UIF payout
Rabodiba said she escalated the issue to the public protector in hopes of getting answers.
“A consultant from the department of labour called me on Monday to say she was assigned to my case. This is the fourth person. I keep getting assigned to different people but no one follows this through,” Rabodiba said.
Another mom, Julie Cranston, said she has waited since last December for her maternity benefits.
“I submitted my documents and was told to wait for 35 days, so I did. Then, after calling them, they told me some documents were missing. I had to resubmit them and waited for weeks with no response,” Cranston said.
When Cranston eventually managed to get through to the call centre, an agent told her to submit her documents again.
“Which I did and I called back about 20 times afterwards and got the same runaround. I have also been advised the team leader is looking into my case,” she said.
Rethabile None said she was in the same situation and had been waiting since October last year.
“In May when I called, they gave me a reference number and there’s still nothing to date,” None said.
None said she tried everything to address the situation and was now out of options.
“I still don’t understand what is taking them so long to pay me. Now my status on the portal is saying waiting for medical records and leave forms – the same documents I have been sending since October last year.
“This thing is draining,” None said.
Department of labour spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi said they would look into the matters.
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