Joint memorandum exposes Road Accident Fund (RAF) crisis and injustice to victims 

Issued by Dr Chris Hunsinger MP – DA Shadow Minister of Transport
25 Jul 2023 in News
  • The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is in disarray leaving the victims of road accidents to fend for themselves.
  • Partly to blame is the total lack of accountable management of the fund which has led to it being unable to meet its financial obligations.
  • The DA will call on the parliamentary portfolio committee on transport to table the joint memorandum on RAF and develop action to address concerns. 

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbites by Dr Chris Hunsinger MP.

The DA will call on the parliamentary portfolio committee on transport chairperson, Regina Mina Mpontseng Lesoma, to request that a joint memorandum from various legal entities regarding the mismanagement of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) be tabled and extensively discussed by the committee. The committee must develop actionable steps to address the outlined issues.

The RAF has been run into the ground as confirmed by the joint memorandum letter addressed to Parliament.

The core of these grievances is the appointment of Collins Letsoalo as CEO of the RAF, a position that requires substantial knowledge of litigation processes and the South African legal framework. Yet, Letsoalo, by his own admission, possesses only a basic understanding of these critical areas. The memorandum also criticises the disbanding of the RAF’s panel of attorneys, which left the RAF without legal representation for approximately a year.

The DA notes the points raised about the insufficient number of state attorneys and claims handlers currently employed, which has led to a loss of capacity that the termination of the panel of attorneys created.

We agree that the August 2022 directive on past hospital and medical expenses, the May 2022 amendments to the requirements for lodging new claims, the introduction of a new contractual undertaking in 2023, and the non-payment of certain claims are problematic. These changes appear to have had a harmful impact on road accident victims and the medical scheme industry.

We also share concerns about the suspension of experienced claims handlers, the inefficiency of block settlements, the lack of response to correspondence, and the non-functional helpline. These concerns, in our view, point to a larger problem: the RAF’s management.

It’s been highlighted that the RAF has been unable to meet its financial obligations, and a narrative blaming legal professionals for the RAF’s problems has surfaced. We reject this unsubstantiated narrative, which we believe undermines public trust in the legal system and hinders victims of road accidents from obtaining the compensation they deserve.

Our primary concern remains the well-being and justice for the victims of road accidents.

The resolution of these crises requires urgent attention and decisive action. The DA will not relent until the RAF is transformed into an entity that serves the interests of South African road accident victims effectively and efficiently.