President’s 11 January Speech and TERS Disputes Procedure

As the country eases into 2021, the President’s speech on 11 January made it clear that COVID-19, and the resulting restrictions, will remain a part of day-to-day life in 2021. The blog post today looks to give a brief overview of the adjusted level 3 regulations from a business perspective and also flags the TERS disputes process.

Adjusted Level 3

The main change that the President announced in his most recent speech was that South Africa’s land borders will be closed until 15 February. Exceptions apply for goods, repatriation and medical supplies, meaning that this change is likely to mainly impact the tourism and leisure industry.

The above is in addition to the measures announced on 28 December, all of which remain in place.

Below is a table summarising some of the key restrictions to businesses under adjusted level 3 at this point in time.

Non-Hotspot AreasHotspot Areas
Curfew21:00 – 05:00 daily21:00 – 05:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 20:00*Non-essential stores close at 20:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.All uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen between 6:00 – 19:00 dailyClosed
Businesses that must remain closedPublic parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, Public parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, 
Sale and distribution of alcoholNot permittedNot permitted

*List of establishments which must close by 20:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; and venues hosting professional sport.

At this point in time, the only material difference between hotspot and non-hotspot areas is access to beaches, dams, lakes and rivers. The reasoning behind this is that the number of people at any one of these locations cannot easily be regulated or controlled. 

You can find a list of the areas designated as hotspots and the adjusted level 3 Regulations on the Government website.

TERS Dispute Resolution Process

On Friday 8 January, as an employer you should have received an email from the UIF, titled “UIF-TERS – Update letter”. The update letter lays out the process that you can follow if you believe the UIF has not performed one or more of its contractual obligations with you contained in your memorandum of association with them.

The letter highlights that this route is only for disputes and not for enquiries, such as failed bank verifications.

To lodge a formal dispute:

  1. Complete the Dispute Form (attached to the 8 January email, sender: [email protected]a)
  2. Attach any relevant supporting documentation
  3. Email the completed dispute form with attachments to [email protected], with the subject as “COVID-19 TERS Dispute – [Your UIF Reference Number]”

We hope that this information has proved useful. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

President’s Speech – 14 December 2020

Last night the President addressed the nation for the second time this month on the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and how the Government plans to counter them. Some of the new rules announced are particularly important for businesses, so these are what the blog post today focuses on.

Masks and Social Distancing

The authorities are going to be more active in enforcing compliance with measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. You as managers and business owners are now responsible for ensuring that employees and customers entering your premises or vehicle are wearing masks.

Failure to enforce these rules on your employees or customers could expose you to fines or even six (6) months imprisonment.

Gatherings

Some of the key points on changes to permitted gatherings are as follows:

  • Gatherings are limited to 250 people outdoors or 100 people indoors.
  • All gatherings need to provide ventilation and hand sanitiser, as well as practice social distancing and mask wearing.
  • Certain hotspots for gatherings will be fully or partially closed across the festive season (16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021). Fully closed areas currently include the Eastern Cape and Garden Route.
  • Beaches and parks that aren’t closed will be open between 9am and 6pm.

It is important that you keep up to date with the latest news on any restrictions as rules are subject to change, dependent on increase or decrease of transmission in a region.

Hospitality and Goods

As the President suggested a second wave is possible, the focus of the Government is to try and maintain economic activity, whilst limiting the spread of the virus. This is reflected in the restrictions and rules that have been placed on the hospitality and tourism sectors.

The new rules are:

  • There is a national curfew between 11pm and 4am.
  • Restaurants and bars must close by 10pm to allow staff time to return home before curfew.
  • Alcohol can be sold in shops Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 6pm
  • Vineyards and wine tastings may resume on the weekends and may include purchases for offsite consumption. 

Although the above restrictions may limit your business, it is encouraging that emphasis is being placed on keeping the wheels of the economy turning.

You can read the President’s full speech by following this link.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. As always, if you need to get in touch with a member of the team, you can contact us at [email protected]

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay