Cape Town - The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is under pressure
to find ways to fund thousands of road accident victims, who as passengers in
taxis where the driver was at fault, were limited to compensation of no more
than R25 000, the Business Report said.
The Constitutional Court ruled that this is inequitable and
The report said the National Assembly's transport portfolio
commitee on Monday considered the RAF (transitional provisions) bill that seeks
to provide interim measures in dealing with claims that were limited until
If the law is not changed, the fund could face unlimited
claims that could come to R2.2bn. However, if claims were limited this could be
reduced to R1.3bn, a department of transport legal adviser is quoted as saying.
The RAF has a backlog of claims estimated at well over
Newly appointed Transport Minister Ben Martins said in reply
to a parliamentary question that 250 000 claims to the RAF remained either
unpaid or unresolved.
Earlier this year RAF chief operating officer Andre Gernandt
told parliament's portfolio committee on transport that new laws were necessary
to prevent attorneys from holding back on payouts and running up legal costs.
He said the RAF currently paid everything to lawyers who
held back the money "sometimes for months".
Attorneys were taking "three or four million" rand
or 25 to 30% of the lump sum. It would be preferable to see payments done in
instalments instead, Gernandt said.
Gernandt also said he wanted MPs to draft a law that will
specify a list of documents attorneys must give to the fund, so that claims can
be settled within 120 days.
The transport portfolio committee decided to meet again next
week to finalise the bill.
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