Cape Town – The Unemployment Insurance Act amendment bill is one step closer to becoming a reality after it was passed in the National Assembly on Thursday.
The bill, which was introduced by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, was widely supported as a safety net for those who lose their jobs.
Oliphant took the MPs through some of the amendments in the bill.
The new act extends the period during which unemployment insurance is paid out to workers who have lost their jobs from 8 to 12 months.
In addition, unemployment insurance benefits will also apply to learners and civil servants who are undergoing learnership training.
The bill will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.
ANC MP Fezeka Loliwe said the extended scope of the bill would make it more accessible to workers.
“We understand that currently our economy is bleeding jobs so these amendments will come as a relief to South Africans,” she said.
She and the minister toted the bill as an ANC success story, while the Democratic Alliance said they supported the bill because of the difference it would make in the lives of South Africans.
The party said the bill would allow for the country to be able to tap into the UIF reserve fund to give workers who become unemployed better resources.
All parties supported the bill as progressive.