Vaal applicants for UIF are having a raw deal with their branches in Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.
So bad and desperate is the situation that the disgruntled applicants fell short of manhandling the Vanderbijlpark Supervisor, Lucia Rantsolase after telling hundreds of applicants to go back home claiming that their system was down. The unemployed applicants stood their grounds and demanded to be served without any further postponement.
“I have been coming here since June and every day, you tell us the same excuse of the system being down, we must go back home and come back the following day. Today we are not going anywhere, we need our money,” said a 60 year old lady Janina Kwiecinski.
Kwiecinski said she had been queuing since 6 am and has no money for taxi fare to come back tomorrow. “No I must be helped now, I can’t come back tomorrow, I don’t have money for transport anymore,” fumed Kwiecinski.
Another applicant Elias Nhlapo accused the UIF officials of demanding the same papers from him.
“I applied on 3 July and each time I come here to check on the progress of my application they always ask me to re-submit papers I submitted before. They always misplace papers. Now they want me to come back tomorrow. I can’t. I no longer have money for fuel to drive from Orange Farm to Vanderbijlpark,” said Nhlapo.
The fuming Tshidiso Ndabezita said he has been waiting for payments since June adding he was made to sign papers more than five times without any progress.
“These UIF officials here make the government look bad yet they are the ones who are incompetent,” said Ndabezita.
Boitumelo Ntata dismissed the UIF officials as lazy and insensitive to the applicants’ plight. Ntata told Vaal Observer that the officials were forever recycling excuses to justify none delivery of services.
“It’s either the system is down or the person who is supposed to serve me is away. And then they will ask me to come back next week. Come next week, the same excuses get recycled,” said Ntata, who maintained that he was fed up with attitude of UIF officials.
Passmore Moelisi, said he was being told to wait for the assessor to finalise his application each time he visits UIF.
“They keep telling me to wait for the assessor each time I came here since June. Then this means these people are not working at all,” said Moelisi.
It is the same tale in Vereeniging where a supervisor Winnie Maake is withholding payment for an applicant for taking his frustration to a community Newspaper Vaal Observer. Maake told the applicant that she will delay processing the application in retaliation to his move of raising complaints through the media. The applicant who requested anonymity said Winnie claimed that his employer did not register him with UIF even though his name and declarations are showing in the UIF system. “My former employer is making frantic efforts to contact her on her mobile number and has emailed her seeking clarity over the missing papers, but is neither picking calls nor responding to emails,” said the applicants. The applicant’s employer told Vaal Observer today that she was still waiting for Winnie to tell her the missing documents which she said was ready to provide.
The applicant accused Winnie of with-hunting in an effort to find justification for the delay. “At one moment she even queried why my gross salary was different from the net income. When I explained to her that the net income shows what is left after the mandatory deductions, while gross is the whole package before anything is removed, she then nodded saying “I know,’” said the applicant. The applicant took up the matter with UIF head-office in Johannesburg where he spoke to Mbongiseni Tshabalala who promised to fix the issue by Tuesday (tomorrow).
Anyone with UIF challenges with Vaal branches can contact head office on Mbongiseni.email@example.com or 0723372654. Complaints can also be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org