Road Accident Fund Increases Claims Limit

Department of Transport

The Road Accident Fund has announced a consumer price index (CPI)-related adjustment to the statutory limit in respect of claims for loss of income and support as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

The amount referred to under section 17(4)(c) of the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996 has been adjusted to R273 863 with effect from 31 July 2018.

The announcement was published in Government Gazette 41796.

According to the notice, the purpose of the adjustment is to “counter the effects of CPI inflation”.

No claim for loss of income and support can exceed the latest limit.

Limits are adjusted on a quarterly basis in line with inflation.

Meanwhile, the portfolio committee on transport is to continue with public hearings on the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill this week.

The bill was tabled in parliament in June 2017.

It aims to provide a social security scheme for the victims of road accidents.

A Road Accident Benefit Scheme Administrator will be set up to implement and run the scheme.

The proposed legislation also aims to provide a set of defined benefits on a no-fault basis for injury or death arising from car accidents.

Some of the challenges the bill intends addressing include the introduction of a no-fault approach to compensation in response to problems identified with the current fault-based approach.

The adoption of a no-fault basis will also help to expand and improve access to benefits.

The transport department wants the bill to improve and simplify claims procedures.

The duties and powers of the envisaged Road Accident Benefit Scheme Administrator are laid down.

The bill will remove the possibility of civil action for damages in respect of injury or death arising from road accidents to be instituted against the owner or driver of a vehicle as well as the employer of the driver.

However, civil claims would still be able to be pursued for any accidents occurring prior to the enactment of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Act.

The proposed legislation lists the benefits that will fall under its scope:

•    Health care services
•    Income support
•    Family support
•    Funeral

Conditions under which benefits can be ended are outlined.

The procedure for claiming benefits is set down as well as the obligations of the claimant and beneficiary.

The administrator will have six months in which to accept or reject a claim. If it is accepted, payment must be made to the claimant within 30 days of his or her notification of the acceptance.

Hearings will take place in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

Sabinet Cape Town Office