RAF proposed changes to RAF Act:
What it means for the Victims
“Big changes coming for the Road Accident Fund in South Africa. The Department of Transport has gazetted the draft Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill, 2023 for public comment.
The draft bill contains a host of proposed changes to how the Road Accident Fund (RAF) will operate in South Africa, including a new set of limitations for claims.
More broadly, the bill aims to change various definitions and insert new ones into the act while also giving effect to findings and recommendations made by the Road Accident Fund Commission, reorganising the power and functions of the fund and various other factors.
One of the bigger proposed changes is to remove the RAF’s ability to appoint agents to administer claims.”
PUBLICATION FOR COMMENTS OF THE DRAFT ROAD ACCIDENT FUND AMENDMENT BILL
A Look into Proposed Changes & Potential Impact
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has long been a subject of scrutiny and criticism in South Africa. Time and again, it has faced challenges in fulfilling its responsibilities to those affected by road accidents. Now, in light of these issues, the Department of Transport introduced the draft RAF Amendment Bill, 2023.
The draft bill, made public in August 2023, aims to alter the RAF’s future operations.
The public has less than a month to add their voice to these amendments.
RAF AMENDMENT BILL Correspondence
RAF AMENDMENT BILL IN THE NEWS
The Constitutional Court has rejected the application by the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to appeal against a High Court ruling compelling it to resume payments to medical schemes. A Business Day report says this puts a final nail in the coffin to RAF efforts to stop honouring claims from medical schemes for members who have been injured in traffic accidents. The apex court’s decision has industry-wide implications, as it provides medical schemes and their administrators with legal assurance that they can continue a long-standing practice of covering their members’ medical bills for injuries sustained in traffic accidents, and then claiming the money back from the RAF. It may also influence the outcome of the RAF Amendment Bill, released for public comment in early September, which proposes that medical scheme members become ineligible for cover from the fund. The RAF has been locked in a legal battle with medical scheme administrator
Written by Ina Opperman | Published on 9 October 2023 Outa and various other stakeholders are ready to challenge the matter in court if the minister does not go back to the drawing board with the RAF bill. The draft Road Accident Fund (RAF) Amendment Bill, published in September for public comment will not withstand legal scrutiny, says Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa). The bill has already caused massive public backlash and outrage. Outa believes the draft bill will not do much to address the many issues at the RAF that include claims backlogs, fraud and corruption. Outa submitted its comments on the bill to the department of transport. “Our legal team studied the proposed amendment bill and it is clear that this bill amounts to an unconstitutional, unreasonable and irrational cost containment measure that will have a significant impact on all South Africans,” Adv. Stefanie Fick, executive director of
Published on Maroela Media on 07 October 2023 Die Wysingingswetsontwerp vir die Padongelukfonds gaan die regte van burgers ondermyn en hulle verder benadeel. Die burgerregteorganisasie AfriForum meen ook dat hierdie wetsontwerp deurslaggewende geleenthede mis om die fonds te moderniseer en privatiseer ten einde die doeltreffendheid daarvan op ’n globale standaard te kry. AfriForum het Vrydag omvattende kommentaar by die departement van vervoer ingedien waarin hulle die Wysigingswetsontwerp vir die Padongelukfonds van 2023 verwerp. “Die wetsontwerp dui onder meer aan dat die regte van bestuurders, passasiers en voetgangers om vergoeding te eis vir beserings tydens ’n ongeluk geskrap gaan word,” sê Charné Mostert, veldtogbeampte by AfriForum. “Die wysiging stipuleer dat die fonds ’n aansienlik verminderde bedrag aan eisers sal uitbetaal.” AfriForum het die uitdagings wat die Padongelukfondswetsontwerp vir Suid-Afrikaners inhou uiteengesit. Die wysiging sal burgers dwing om van gebrekkige openbare gesondheidstelsels gebruik te maak aangesien hulle nie privaat sorg sal kan
Published on Polity on 6 October 2023 The Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill will undermine the rights of citizens and disadvantage them further. The civil rights organisation AfriForum also believes that this bill misses crucial opportunities to modernise and privatise the fund to bring its effectiveness to a global standard. AfriForum has today submitted comprehensive comments to the Department of Transport in which they reject the Amendment Bill for the Road Accident Fund of 2023. The bill indicates, among other things, that the rights of drivers, passengers and pedestrians to claim compensation for injuries during an accident will be removed. The amendment stipulates that the fund will pay out a significantly reduced amount to claimants. AfriForum has outlined the challenges that the Road Accident Fund Bill poses for South Africans. The amendment will force citizens to make use of flawed public health systems as they will not be able to
Less than a week to object to RAF Amendment Bill that seeks to exclude claims from medical scheme members
Written by Neesa Moodley | Published on 02 October 2023 Kirstie Haslam, a partner at DSC Attorneys, says the current Bill seeks to introduce alarmingly similar provisions to the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill that was roundly rejected three years ago. While lawyers and medical schemes seem to be up in arms about the Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill, the Department of Transport maintains that the measures will go a long way towards addressing the fund’s financial problems. The Road Accident Fund (RAF) recorded a deficit of R8.43-billion for the 2022/23 financial year compared with a surplus of R428-million for the 2021/22 financial year. The fund maintains that this was largely due to the fuel levy not being increased over the past two years, whereas inflation has shot up to an average of 6.9% during 2022/23. Another factor was an increase in liability claims. Kirstie Haslam, a partner at
Listen to Gert Nel, featured on Pretoria FM, as he explains the draft RAF amendment bill.
Written by Hennie Klopper | Published on 24 Sep 2023 New legislation is not the answer to the fund’s problems. The Road Accident Fund (RAF) Act aims to protect citizens and society against the serious and insidious financial and socio-economic consequences of road traffic crashes (RTCs). This is achieved by the suspension of the common law right of a person whom an RTC has harmed to claim from the wrongdoing driver and the deviation of such liability to a fund financed by contributions of those members of society (a fuel levy of R2.18 c/l) who create the risk of RTCs and ensuing harm. The objective of the RAF Act is to protect the road crash victim (RCV) against the possibility of an inability to recover the damages an RCV is entitled to from the negligent indigent motorist. South Africa’s annual road crash fatalities are approximately 50/100 000 of the population.
Already over 5 000 strong objections have been raised to a new draft of the Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill 2023, which if becomes law, will negatively impact the rights of all drivers, passengers and pedestrians to claim compensation for injuries they suffer in a motor vehicle accident. The Amendment Bill, which was published by the Department of Transport on 8 September 2023, allows less than a month for public comment, and proposes a complete restructuring of the RAF, moving away from a “compensation” to a “social benefits” structure. Advocate Justin Erasmus, Chairperson of the Personal Injury Plaintiff Lawyers Association (PIPLA), an association representing approximately 300 Personal Injury lawyers, is working collaboratively with a number of different law societies including the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) , Black Lawyers Association (BLA), Gauteng Attorneys Association (GAA), South African Women’s Lawyers Association (SAWLA), Johannesburg Attorneys