The Compensation Fund, Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA), and The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (RF) Proprietary Limited (FEM) have together contributed R1.35 billion towards funding the vaccination costs for workers who do not have medical aid, heeding the President’s call for organizations to help finance and facilitate the roll-out of vaccines in South Africa and beyond.
The three entities will also contribute towards the cost of vaccines for those receiving a pension in terms of the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccination.
Ndivhuwo Manyonga, FEM CEO, said: “Over the past year, we have been confronted with the dire consequences of a global pandemic impacting the world. From the loss of income to temporary or permanent disablement caused by COVID-19, we have witnessed the suffering of many workers.”
“Thus, as a collective, we have taken up the responsibility to cover the cost of medical treatment and the replacement of lost income, in the event, that workers become temporary or permanently disabled or unfortunately die due to COVID-19 acquired in the workplace.”
“Through this, we want to demonstrate that we are fully behind our nation during this global crisis. To date, we have accepted 12 523 related claims across all three organizations and we continue to compensate workers that suffer disablement and or loss of income due to this pandemic,” added Ms Manyonga.
“Through this collective contribution, we hope to assist at least 3 million of the estimated 10 million uninsured workers and contribute to helping protect South Africans against the virus and curb the pandemic,” she explained.
“We sincerely believe that if we all work together, we can overcome COVID-19. Let us continue to be vigilant with the sanitization, hygienic, and protective protocols at workplaces in the public and in our homes. We also take this opportunity to extend the appeal for all businesses to continue to contribute towards the roll-out of vaccines in South Africa and play their part in getting the country and the economy back on track,” added Ms Manyonga.
In addition, the organizations have also taken up responsibility for the cost of medical treatment and the replacement of lost income as a result of temporary or permanent disablement caused by COVID-19 acquired in the workplace in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
FEM is one of only two private sector companies that have been issued a license to provide workmen’s compensation services under this Act. FEM focuses on employers in the building and construction industry.
The insurance covers a wide range of types of construction work, from demolition to painting and plastering; tombstone erection to the construction of swimming pools; and electrical contracting to gas fitting and plumbing, amongst numerous other construction sub-categories.