Road Accident Fund Bill misses opportunities for modernisation

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 afford private care, due to changes in this fund.

According to Charné Mostert, Campaign Officer at AfriForum, the organisation is concerned about the government’s desire to continue centralising the Road Accident Fund further into the hands of greedy officials. “Road users directly contribute to the fund through the fuel levy but will not be able to rely on the fund with the new amendments. The target should be to transition the fund into a privatised system, acting as a crucial safety net for the vulnerable without insurance.”

According to AfriForum, a decentralised approach will lead to faster processing of claims and regional-specific solutions. The organisation says that the Road Accident Fund is supposed to be a safety net for those who cannot afford third party insurance and that a decentralised approach will ensure that the most vulnerable members of society are not left destitute after an accident.

“AfriForum firmly submits that the RAF Bill, in its current form, does not adequately address the pressing challenges faced by the RAF. Our vision champions a decentralised system that is more responsive to the regional disparities in South Africa, one that also offers greater financial flexibility to its citizens and integrates the advancements of the 21st-century insurance landscape,” concludes Mostert.

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