As compensation claims continue to pour into the Compensation Fund and through licences mutual assistance companies, Rand Mutual and Federated Employers, the Department of Employment and Labour has again appealed to better, safer and healthier workplaces especially as the pandemic continues to ravage the country.
It is incumbent upon all employers – public and private – to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to safeguard the lives of workers in the workplace. It is also encouraging all workers to do the basics like washing hands, where possible to keep safe distances and wear the appropriate protective gear of which the minimum is the mask covering the nose and mouth.
“It is in the interest of employees to also blow a whistle on unsafe working conditions that could lead to them contracting or being infected with Covid-19. The employees, through their representatives can approach our inspectors if they feel that their health is compromised and the department will conduct inspections and as the worst form of sanction, close down non-complying workplaces," said Compensation Fund Commissioner Vuyo Mafata.
This appeal comes as claims for compensation pour in with a total 17 185 claims having been been lodged for exposure to COVID-19 at work. Out of that number, regrettably, 32 claims relate to fatalities.
Of these, 12 257 have been lodged directly with the Compensation Fund (CF) while 4434 were lodged with Rand Mutual and 494 with Federated Employees, the two mutuals that operate under licence from the Minister of Employment and Labour.
Of those lodged directly with CF, the highest number of claimants come from Western Cape with 5493 claims. Liability has been accepted for a total of 3824 cases, 787 repudiated, 882 are pending adjudication and 12 fatalities have been recorded.
The second highest province with regard to claimants is Gauteng with 2254 claims of which 1123 have been accepted, 870 repudiated and 568 are pending adjudication.
The province of the Eastern Cape has the third highest number with 1961 claims, 1309 of those have been accepted, 71 have been repudiated, 581 are pending adjudication with two fatalities recorded
KwaZulu Natal has the fourth highest number of claims at 1891. A total of 785 have been accepted, 538 repudiated and 568 await adjudication and one fatality.
Mpumalanga has 371 claims of which 181 have been accepted while 24 were repudiated and 166 await adjudication with two fatalities.
From the northern Cape, 164 claims have been received. A total of 70 have been accepted, 18 repudiated and 76 await adjudication and two fatalities have been recorded. The Free state has 91 claims of which 75 have been accepted, 10 repudiated and 6 await adjudication with one fatality.
Limpopo has lodged 3 claims, one has been accepted and 2 repudiated.
Rand Mutual Association has received a total of 4434 claims and have recorded a total of 9 fatalities with most of the claims coming from Gauteng (3445), EC (331), KZN (262), WC (134), NW (114), FS (61), NC (53), LP (21) and MP (13).
The Federated Employers have received 494 claims with most coming from GP (306 and one fatality), KZN (53 and one fatality), WC (51), EC (34 with one fatality), MP (14), NW (14), NC (11), FS (9) and LP (2).
“It is important to note that when we say the claim has been repudiated, this could change if we are given more information about the particular claim. This then should not be read as having had the door slammed in the face of the claimants.
“Where we accept the claim, this means that we have accepted the claim as a valid occupational injury or disease and we accept responsibility for the costs related to the claim (medical aid costs and disability costs). Those awaiting adjudication means the claims have been received but no decision has been made on the claim due to outstanding information or claim has not been attended to as yet," says Mafata.
To date, an amount of R35, 152, 044.17 has since been paid towards benefits. The distribution of payments is as follows;
- R 2, 975, 631.50 paid for temporary total disablement and this constitutes 9% of the total amount paid.
- R 10, 702, 338.70 paid out in medical aid costs and constitutes just above 29% of the total amount paid.
- R 160, 908.00 paid out in funeral costs and constitutes below 1% of the total amount paid.
- R 119, 433.81 paid out in PD Pension and constitutes below 1% of the total amount paid.
- R 21, 193, 732.16 paid out in dependents benefits costs and constitutes 62% of the total amount paid.
Ms Hloni Mpaka: Spokesperson for Compensation Fund
072 670 5464
Musa Zondi: Acting Departmental Spokesperson
“Please continue adhering to the lockdown regulations. Wash or sanitise your hands regularly and wear your mask at all times."
Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour
© 2019 - The South African Department of Employment & Labour