Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on Tuesday said the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) was making steady progress on its promise.
They promised to earnestly start capturing and processing many COVID-19 relief benefits applications.
His department said a total of R1 billion had already been processed for payment to 252,378 workers represented by more than 26,000 employers.
The minister said the UIF was working around the clock to ensure that the outstanding payments were processed as soon as possible.
“As we indicated when we addressed the country last Friday, we are committed to ensuring that to the extent possible, the department through the UIF plays its role in shielding workers from the worst effects of the pandemic.
”We are doing this by providing cash payments to workers who may have found themselves in the lurch as a result of lockdown.
“The payments have been significant in saving at least 3 million workers from poverty,” Nxesi said in a statement.
He said payments this time around should be a lot quicker as the UIF already had the details for most of the claimants.
“I have been assured that we would realise significant improvements in terms of payment turnaround time from claim submissions.
“Already, with all the information supplied, the UIF was able to pay some claims in 24 hours at best or 48 at worst, which is far more from when we started around 16 April,” Nxesi said.