- Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni is assuring provident fund beneficiaries affected by Covid-19 that a working solution for financial relief is in the pipelines
- The minister was speaking to businesses and unions on behalf of the National Treasury at the National Economic Development and Labour in Johannesburg
- Economists and organised business have welcomed Mboweni's pronouncement although the sense is that a lot of work still needs to be done
South Africans suffering the financial burdens due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic may be in line for some relief, according to the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni.
Mboweni said on Wednesday that Treasury has had discussions with businesses and unions on a proposal for a partial withdrawal from retirement funds, according to a News24 report.
The minister, who was speaking at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in Johannesburg, said this would apply to those who lost part of their income during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As has always been the case, provident fund members are only entitled to withdrawals once they retire, resign or get retrenched.
"I am determined, now more than ever before, to ensure the officials in the National Treasury … speed up this matter," Mboweni declared.
"Government continues to engage with trade unions, regulators and other stakeholders to discuss how to allow limited withdrawals linked to tightening preservation by closing current loopholes.
"And, also, to expand coverage so that all those employed or earning an income are required to put aside a small proportion for saving for their future."
Coovadia believes the relief packages will be good for those hardest hit, not only by the pandemic but by the social unrest and the worsening economic situation in the country. He said:
“Although a lot of work still needs to be done and lots of details still need to be unpacked, National Treasury has given us a good sense of what’s been done and have also given us information that we believe is important in a broader economic and fiscal situation."
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