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Transport Committee Ready for Public Hearings on RABS Bill

The Portfolio Committee on Transport has held a workshop on the Road Acciddent Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill. The Road Accident Fund's Mr Chris Willemse told members of the committee that the current RAF model is unsustainable.

There is a huge litigation process that follows claims. This is portracted and expensive, and delays settlement and access to benefits. We need to provide for an arrangement that is reasonable, affordable, and sustainable, Mr Willemse said.

He said as things stood, about R3-billion worth of claims are settled a month, and the payment requested at at May 2018 was R9.3 billion.

Committee chairpersons Ms Dikeledi Magadzi commented that the scheme replacing the Road Accident Fund (RAF) Act must benefit the people. Socially and economically there are massive challenges out there. The people are the ones we should keep in mind. We should ask, if they are unable to fend for their children, what will happen to their dependants? Ms Magadzi said.

We have to think out of the box when dealing with this law. We need to make sure that what we do is something that is tangible and value for money, not only for beneficiaries but government, she said.

The committee will tomorrow begin public hearings into the Bill and various entities are set to appear. The public hearings will take place over two weeks, after which the committee is expected to go to provinces to gather further input from ordinary citizens.

The Minister of Transport, Mr Blade Nzimande, said he was pleased that the committee is dealing with the Bill, as it had been pending for some time. It would be desirable if this Bill is passed before the lifespan of this administration ends. Contractors have schemed [to defraud the] RAF, many lawyers who have assisted with RAF matters are driving fancy cars, he said.

The public hearings programme begins tomorrow, 16 May 2018.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

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