The New Road Accident Fund Rules: Buddy’s guide for savvy citizens

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) traditionally was the caring arm of Government…

…created to help people who got hurt in motor vehicle crashes. But of late the RAF represents more of a “broken arm” as many folks have been mad at it because it’s not doing a great job.

Now, the Department of Transport wants to change the RAF to a so called Scheme, by introducing the RAF Amendment Bill in 2023.

Here's the deal:

  1. The CEO and Board can make all the Rules they decide who and when road crash victims get paid, if at all;
  2. Structured Benefits, Not Cash: Right now, if you get hurt in a car crash, the RAF, if you complied would pay most if not all of your medical bills and other stuff. With the new law, they want to pay small monthly amounts, like an allowance, instead of all your money at once. This allowance can be reduced at any time and falls away if you die.
  3. No More “General Damages”: They’re considering not giving extra money for things like pain and suffering, which is a big deal. This will be very unfair to people who get hurt really badly and need cash up front to cover immediate needs.
  4. Taxis and Insurance: If you’re in a taxi and get hurt, the RAF might not help you anymore. Instead, the taxi owner or their insurance has to pay.
  5. No More Help from Medical Aid: If your health insurance paid for your medical bills after a crash, they might not be able to get that money back anymore which means you will pay more for the same medical cover.
  6. New referee for RAF Cases: If you want to sue the RAF, you might have to wait for a special referee called the RAF Adjudicator to decide your case. This could slow things down and be a problem.
  7. No Help for Foreigners: If you’re not from South Africa, you will not get help from the RAF anymore if you’re in a crash here.
  8. Penalties for Bad Driving: If you drive drunk or don’t wear your seatbelt, the RAF will penalise you by excluding or limiting your claim.
  9. Digital Claims: The RAF wants you to send your crash claims online, but they might be really strict about the required documentation and make it difficult to comply; or excluding victims that do not have access to online services
  10. Some Accidents Won’t Be Covered: If you’re hit by an unidentified car; if you’re injured walking on a highway, or if you’re in a crash on a non-public road, you are out – no claim.

So, what's next?

  • We don’t know exactly how these changes will affect people as they have not given all the information and there are still more rules to figure out.
  • These changes exclude a lot of road crash victims you will be contributing the same and receive far less.
  • Government will save money while the victims suffer.

In short, the Scheme aims to exclude road crash victims while Government pockets the fuel levy intended for the very victims it was designed to support. In the end, we need to make sure that any changes place the interests of road crash first.

We all should have our say and Government must listen and be right by road crash victims.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

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