NATIONAL NEWS - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Pharmacy Direct for its workers to receive their Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) monies.
This comes after the EFF announced on Tuesday that Malema, together with other members of the party’s leadership, would “pay a visit” to Pharmacy Direct chief executive officer (CEO) Gawie Erasmus to demand that the company pay its staff.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Malema said the EFF agreed with the management of Pharmacy Direct for the money to be paid back to the UIF, which then will be distributed to the workers.
“Individual workers should be able to go and claim the money from the UIF. We resolved that the best way is to return the money to the UIF so that workers are not affected in the future,” he said.
Malema said Erasmus, on behalf of the company, would offer an apology to the workers, while also ensuring that working conditions were improved.
“We have asked for Pharmacy Direct to improve the working conditions and ensure that there is a direct and clear line of communication,” he continued to say.
Malema added that the EFF would also march to the Department of Labour and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices to demand that the R350 grant was paid to those who were unemployed.
“We also demand that the department account for the money that is missing. The company was not supposed to claim the money. That money was meant for companies that were under stress because they are non-operational.
“If the employer is able to operate, to take the money in your name it was incorrect. Let the company pay back the money to the Department of Labour,” he said.
The EFF leader continued: “We are not a union and we cannot enter union matters. But we are going to come back as members of Parliament with representatives from the Department of Labour to listen and resolve all the other issues.
“Today, we came here because of the TERS money and we have reached a resolution.”