The inaugural report of the Taurus RAF Barometer, which provides information about the ability of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to pay claims timeously, has shown that the fund has continued to make progress in lowering average payment times. Picture: Etienne Creux
The inaugural report of the Taurus RAF Barometer, which provides information about the ability of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to pay claims timeously, has shown that the fund has continued to make progress in lowering average payment times. Picture: Etienne Creux

RAF ‘is making progress’ in paying out claims timeously

By Given Majola Time of article published Aug 20, 2021

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THE INAUGURAL report of the Taurus RAF Barometer, which provides information about the ability of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to pay claims timeously, has shown that the fund has continued to make progress in lowering average payment times.

“The length of time it takes for a claim to be settled is crucial for the claimants,” said Elad Smadja, the chief executive of Taurus Capital, an investment firm that introduced index.

Smadja said through their work with personal injury attorneys to help provide funding to claimants, they often saw long delays in payments.

“Through our work with attorneys and the fund, we realised that the expeditious payment of claims arising from accidents should be a major focus for the fund, which is what prompted us to implement a tracking mechanism for the measurement of the payout time,” said Smadja.

“The fact that payments came through faster during the second quarter of 2021 is encouraging. The stats show that, during this quarter, the payment times improved by more than 10 percent compared to quarter four last year,” said Smadja.

Although the current average payment term over the past quarter was 281 days from the time of a claim being finalised to the date of the payment, and was still higher than the 180-day benchmark set by the RAF, it was far better than the average time at the end of last year, when it took 312 days.

The RAF, which has previously hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons, remained a social welfare tool crucial for the well-being of thousands of South African road-users impacted by motor vehicle accidents.

It is against this backdrop that there have been some significant moves to improve the ability of the RAF to meet its mandate. Under new chief executive Collins Letsoalo, the fund is said to have begun to take action to address some of the concerns relating to its bad performance.

Smadja said they expected to see more improvement later this year when certain cases that were suspended by the fund because of duplicate payments have been sorted out.

Funding for the RAF comes from levies that are included in the fuel price, and if this decline in revenue was significant, payment times could be adversely affected.

According to the International Transport Forum’s Road Safety Annual Report for 2020, South Africa had a mortality rate of 22.4 deaths per 100 000 population in 2018, while road fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants were among the highest in the world at 22.4 percent.

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