New changes to Road Accident Fund claims ‘will not be fair’

The Department of Transport intends to amend the Road Accident Fund (RAF)Act. This will result in changes that will make life much harder for road accident victims in South Africa.

Legal experts are crying foul over proposed changes to the Road Accident Fund, which will see the fund severely cut down on the support offered to road accident victims.

The Department of Transport gazetted the draft Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill, 2023 for public comment on 8 September, giving commentators just one month to provide feedback on the bill.

Jessica Hanekom is an attorney with years of experience assisting road accident victims’ claims from the RAF. Hanekon and some of her colleagues have started a petition to prevent significant changes regarding claims against the Road Accident Fund.

According to Hanekom, these will be some of the major changes that the Department of Transport intends to amend:

No More Lump Sum Payments – Instead of receiving the full claimed amount, the new rules suggest you’ll get it in smaller installments. This could make it challenging to cover crucial expenses like medical bills and everyday living costs. We’ve seen a similar situation with Workmen’s Compensation, and it didn’t work out well.

No Support for Families – If the person who was injured in the accident sadly passes away, the financial assistance stops. Even though it was intended to help the family, they won’t receive anything.

No Help for ‘Hit-and-Run’ Victims –  If someone crashes into you and then flees the scene, you will not be able to claim. This is particularly unfair for people like pedestrians and cyclists who are regularly involved in such incidents.

No Help for Non-Citizens – If you’re not  South African, you will not be able to claim. This doesn’t seem fair or right.

These proposed changes to road accident claims in South Africa could negatively impact many individuals, Hanekom adds. 

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