The Road Accident Fund was established in 1996 to provide compensation to all road users within South Africa who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents as a result of another’s negligent driving. The Fund compensates victims involved in motor vehicle accidents and also offers support to dependents whose providers have been injured or killed.
Unfortunately, claims against the RAF often take a long time to finalise, involve high administrative costs and costly litigation. The proposed changes to the RAF legislation seek to replace the RAF with a ‘Road Accident Benefit Scheme’ which aims to reduce the need for litigation. The Scheme will focus on structured payments based on a tariff system which will rank the severity of injuries and compensation applicable. The most notable change, however, is that a ‘no fault’ system will be introduced. This means that the person who caused the accident will also be able to claim for injuries sustained. This contradicts South African principles of the law of delict where wrongdoers are held accountable for their actions or omissions. Like the current system, the Scheme will be funded by fuel levies- the difference being that some of this money will be used to compensate negligent road-users.
It remains to be seen whether the proposed changes will be made into law.
To view the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill click: http://www.raf.co.za/Media-Center/Pages/RABS-Bill-Published-.aspx
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