Road Accident Fund

2018-07-12 06:00

RECENT reports reveal that the Road Accident Fund (RAF) spent R500 000 per month hiring 300 chairs for its offices.

This again demonstrates the utter lack of regard the RAF and the government have for road victims and commuters who pay for the fund via the fuel levy.

We are likely to see more fuel increases, adding to the already record high fuel price. The South African commuter already coughs up R1,93 per litre of petrol to the RAF.

Last year alone, the RAF made a loss of R34,7 billion — the biggest loss of any state-owned entity (SOE) for the financial year. This is down to sheer mismanagement and tolerance of corruption. In truth, ordinary South Africans are now paying to plug this R34 billion black hole.

President Cyril Ramaphosa must immediately place the RAF under independent and external administration, with the aim of eradicating corruption, installing competent and independent leadership and beginning the process of tackling its R188 billion backlog in unpaid claims.

The Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS), which will soon be debated in Parliament, is set to cost commuters even more and will fail road victims. It is especially the vulnerable, the youth and elderly road victims who will be severely impacted if this bill is passed into law.

The scheme proposes that there will be no benefits for child road victims after they turn 18 years. Road victims older than 65 years will also not be able to claim. The RABS bill also proposes an introduction of a no-fault clause, where drunk and reckless drivers who cause road crashes are treated equally as victims and will be able to claim for compensation. This will increase the burden on the taxpayer dramatically.

This is yet another demonstration of how the national ANC government is both out of touch with South Africans and has no real solutions to fix the RAF. We will be making alternative proposals in Parliament on how to fix the RAF.

MANNY DE FREITAS, MP

Shadow minister
of Transport, DA

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