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September 22nd, 2017 by

The new Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) is currently before parliament.

The Bill is proposed to replace the current fault-based system which was administered by the Road Accident Fund.

The implementation of the RABS aims to both reduce costs and standardize payouts. This may sound all fair and well on paper, but it could spell disaster for South African motorists. Here is why;

Under RABS, accidents will be treated on a no-fault basis.

A no-fault scheme means that any drivers who can prove they have been in a motor vehicle accident will be able to submit a claim to RABS.

What this means, essentially, is that all road accident victims will be able to receive a benefit even if the accident was your fault.

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The Biggest Problems With The Road Accident Benefit Scheme

Although a no-fault system could reduce administration, we’ll see an increase in the volume of claims and the amount of compensation to be paid out. As a result, the value of the benefits will have to be reduced in order to keep the plan sustainable.

The scheme is based on the same model as that of the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner (WCC). Let’s say you’re injured on duty. You’re chopping carrots in a restaurant and you accidentally lose a finger. A claim could then be lodged with the WCC, where your employer pleads your cause on your behalf.

Under RABS, however, you won’t have any representation and you’ll have to lodge the claim yourself. You won’t be able to recover your full loss and the compensation / benefits payable to you will be decreased. There’s no long term financial security offered. All benefits could be withdrawn or reduced at any time by the Administrator.

As it stands under the RAF fault-based system, if you were to cause an accident then you’re not permitted to claim. Victims who do qualify then receive substantially higher payments.

This may seem unfair to those who genuinely make small errors on the road. Maybe the clutch slipped and you ended up bumping the car in front of you. In that light, the RABS may be helpful and seem reasonable.

However, this brings us to the biggest, most disturbing problem of them all.

A person driving under the influence will have the same rights as you. They will also be able to claim for damages after they cause a huge accident and leave you paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of your life.

19062017 CTAs 03 700x205 - Drunk Drivers Could Claim From New Road Accident Benefit Scheme

Thanks For Nothing, RABS

  1. You’ll have no right to approach a court, should you be unsatisfied with the benefits on offer.
  2. The RABS will pay medical and healthcare service providers directly. This means that, should you be injured, you no longer have a choice in which medical practitioners or care givers you want to use.
  3. The RABS will take over all existing and future RAF claims, as well as the current RAF staff.
  4. Under the current RAF, in severe cases you may have an attorney champion your cause for you. This right falls away under the RABS.
  5. No more lump sum payment settlements made to those who have experienced severe injuries or damages. The RABS will make monthly payments, with a maximum pay out of R44 000, annually. Consider the fact that you may lose a limb or the ability to work. R44 000 is poor compensation.
  6. These payments will not increase in line with inflation. They will also stop the moment you die, leaving your dependants vulnerable and possibly doomed to live in a refrigerator box under a bridge somewhere.
  7. The RAF takes about 120 days to settle your claims. The RABS will take double the time , and even then, benefits aren’t a sure thing.


News24 reported that a Durban Regional Court magistrate has given a drunk driver a sentence of 20 years in prison for causing an accident in which three people died.

Under the RABS, people who show a complete disregard for the rules of the road might be able to claim and receive compensation.

Perhaps, instead of all the inherently crooked bureaucracy, Government should be focusing on better enforcement of traffic laws.

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  • Bernice Barber

    I can’t see how people who have been waiting years for their claims to be settled can now be moved over to the new system. This is going to push the civil claims process up dramatically.

    • sky

      There won’t be any civil claims because you represent your self.

      • Bernice Barber

        I think people will choose to rather sue the guilty party privately and not use the RABS system, as it won’t even cover their losses or give them a choice of medical practitioners to use. In my experience with the Workman’s Compensation processes the medical practitioners willing to attend to those patients are not always the best in their field.

  • Francois Engelbrecht

    1) Less administration but double the time? Makes no sense. Seems like RABS want to act like a bank and gain from the interest by delaying the process. Do they have a banking license?
    2) So if you run short of money just make and accident. Insurance pay for repairs or new car and you get free cash from the tax levied on fuel paid by your fellow citizens. I much you want to bet the levy taxed in fuel is going up again soon in this regard.

    3) Government gearing up for the state medical aid scheme and will private medical aids/hospitals etc be deliberately throttled in favor of state resource utilization.
    4) Like the Demerit system there seems to be an active drive to reduce your ability to fight anything by legal means. Taking more and more power away from civilians to defend themselves against Government processes and decision making.

    There is a lot more I can say but I will close it off with one question: What family member or Gupta is this time going benefit. As they can’t twist what they need out of RAF is just so much easier to create a new entity with the right minions already in place.

  • Ashley Crookes

    I cannot believe the ridiculousness of the human race. We really have become a super, stupid, moronic species. Can’t wait for the next news headline!