File picture: Newspress.
File picture: Newspress.

LETTER: Proposed RABS bill is unconstitutional condones drunk driving

By Manny de Freitas DA MP Time of article published Dec 7, 2018

Share this article:

LETTER - From the beginning of this process, it was blatantly obvious that the ANC did not have the vehicle crash victim in mind when considering the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill.

This bill was considered in Parliament yesterday and was thrown out as the ANC could not muster a quorum to pass this terrible bill.

There is much said, by the ANC, about how lawyers are “milking” the fund. The fact is that the enormous RAF legal bill is caused by claims being opposed by RAF-contracted attorneys who in most cases have no legal basis to oppose the claims.

With the RAF’s estimated liability being R200 billion, this makes the situation even worse. The RAF have legal fees of close to R7bn annually, from about R180 million nine years ago.

Claims are settled shortly before any final legal proceeding. An example of this is that 90% of cases in the North Gauteng High Court are RAF cases with less than only 1% actually going to trial.

The RAF is funded via the fuel levy. The current fuel levy of R193 per litre of fuel generates about R3.2bn per month, yet it can’t make ends meet.

The South African system, until about a decade ago, was seen internationally as one of the fairest, most reliable and accurate, then systemic corruption and maladministration took hold.

With this in context, it is clear that the Department and the RAF did not do proper research when looking into RABS. Clearly this bill is unconstitutional.

If RABS becomes law, any person younger than 18 making a claim will cease to receive benefits once they reach the age of 18 even if they need the benefit for life. And if you think your grandmother can claim when she gets knocked over by a car, then think again. RABS ensures that anyone older than 65 will be guaranteed of not receiving any benefits.

But this isn’t the worst issue. In future we will not only pay more and receive less but those that shouldn’t receive anything at all, will. RABS is a no-fault system. The RABS bill proposes that anyone claiming from RABS would not require to prove if a vehicle crash was caused by any party involved in that crash. This means that even if an accident was caused by a person, that person will also be able to claim from the proposed RABS.

To put it bluntly; a drunk driver can cause an accident and even kill people involved in a crash and will be able to claim from RABS over and over again.

I know, this sounds unbelievable but it’s true. So essentially this government and the ANC have no problem with drinking and driving. RABS will cement this.

The Mercury

Share this article: