Picture: Dumisani Dube/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
A Soweto woman who has been waiting for a Road Accident Fund (RAF) payout for years has expressed frustration and anger at the system.

She has waited for seven years for the payout and says, despite fulfilling all the requirements needed for a claim, there was no sign that she would receive her payment any time soon.

Vangile Nkosi, 36, was knocked over by a car in 2009.

Nkosi said: “In 2009, I was coming from home to Bramfischerville. I was standing next to a stop sign, they were spinning cars and one just came straight for me and knocked me down.”

She sustained head injuries and has been fighting ever since the claim was lodged to get a payout.

“I don’t understand, because I went to different psychologists and psychiatrists and when I check with RAF, my attorney was paid for the work he did, but I have not been given an offer.

“Two years back, I approached the Pretoria High Court, and they told me that everything was fine and they were waiting for an offer from RAF.

“It’s not that I’m not communicating with attorneys, I am, and they keep telling me that they are waiting for an offer,” she said.

Nkosi said questions about what was taking so long for the offer to be made had been met with silence.

Nkosi is one of many people who have been waiting for payouts for years.

“RAF tells me the money they see on the system is the one paid to my lawyer, but the settlement offer has not been made. When I ask RAF why it’s taking so long, the only thing they tell me is that they are waiting for an offer,” she said.

RAF chief marketing officer Phumelela Dhlomo said the reasons for not settling claims within the 120 days as stipulated depended on a number of factors.

“Information outstanding from the claimant or third parties, ongoing investigation into the merits of the claim to determine who caused the accident and, where multiple wrongdoers are involved, to determine each wrongdoer’s proportionate contribution and the scheduling of medical-legal consultations with experts, usually on multiple future dates,” are among these factors, Dhlomo said.

Nkosi also expressed frustration at not getting updates from her lawyer.

Dhlomo said attorneys are required by law to update their clients.

“One of the challenges is that the RAF is not permitted to interfere in the attorney-client relationship. Attorneys are required to keep their clients updated on developments as work on the claims proceeds, and to respond to their clients’ letters and telephone calls within a reasonable time.

“In the event that attorneys do not comply with the aforementioned rules page 3 of 4 of conduct, the claimants will have to refer the matter to the respective provincial law societies for assistance,” she said.

According to the RAF a total of 271 933 new claims were registered in the 2017/18 financial year while 203 493 claims were finalised.

Sunday Independent