It is with great sadness that the Minister of Employment and Labour and the Department learns about the passing of Dr Welcome “Bhodloza" Nzimande.
Dr Nzimande was appointed as the chairperson of the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Board in January 2013, and as the chairperson he was responsible for guiding the Board to fulfil its mandate of advising the Minister of Employment and Labour on unemployment insurance policy and the creation of schemes to alleviate the effects of unemployment.
As the chairperson of the Board he guided the initial process that led to the amendment of the Unemployment Insurance Act which was passed in 2016 to among others, extend the coverage to public servants and people in learnerships, extended the claim period for unemployment benefits from 6 to 12 months, set the income replacement rate for maternity benefits to the present 66% flat rate.
Dr Nzimande was always passionate about the empowerment of vulnerable communities and this came through when, as the chairperson of the UIF Board he guided the launch of the R2 billion Project Development Partnership Fund in December 2018 to help small business start-ups, geared toward creating employment.
The UIF Board, under his chairpersonship, was also instrumental in the launch of the R7.9 billion training programme in April 2019. The programme targeted the youth and UIF beneficiaries to equip them with critical skills that will enable them to compete for jobs in the labour market and venture into their own business.
Paying tribute to him, Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi said Dr Nzimande was a very compassionate man who led the UIF Board with great distinction and aplomb. “Dr Nzimande was in his third term as the chairperson of the UIF Advisory Board, and under his stewardship the Board played a significant role in championing the interest of workers and driving employment initiatives. As the Board, they had a huge influence on the provision of the Covid–19 TERS Benefit that has benefitted more than 13 million workers.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to him and his family for having allowed us his presence and diligent years of selfless service. Dr Nzimande will be solely missed by his fellow UIF Board members and UIF management, and the Department at large", said Minister Nxesi.
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Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour
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