Sign In
​%20THE%20FACTS%20ABOUT%20THE%20ROAD%20ACCIDENT%20BENEFIT%20SCHEME%20(RABS)%20BILL 
What%20is%20RABS?
RABS%20is%20intended%20to%20replace%20the%20current%20fault-based%20system%20administered%20by%20the%20Road%20Accident%20Fund%20(RAF),%20which%20often%20results%20in%20extensive%20and%20costly%20litigation,%20prolonged%20claims%20finalisation%20and%20high%20administrative%20costs. %20Under%20RABS,%20fault%20will%20not%20be%20considered%20on%20the%20part%20of%20the%20claimant%20or%20other%20persons%20involved%20in%20the%20road%20accident.%20The%20focus%20will%20essentially%20be%20on%20how%20the%20claimant%20is%20immediately%20assisted. %20A%20no-fault%20scheme%20will%20create%20a%20new%20era%20of%20socio-economic%20balance%20and%20will%20also%20remove%20the%20unintended%20negative%20consequences%20and%20financial%20burden%20on%20the%20families%20of%20the%20wrongdoer.%20
 
Who%20benefits%20under%20RABS%20and%20what%20will%20it%20do%20for%20accident%20victims?
RABS%20is%20a%20social%20benefit%20scheme%20that%20will%20provide%20a%20social%20security%20safety%20net%20-%20based%20on%20social%20security%20principles%20-%20to%20those%20injured%20in%20road%20crashes%20and%20to%20the%20dependants%20of%20breadwinners%20who%20are%20killed%20as%20a%20result%20of%20road%20crashes.%20RABS%20will%20furthermore%20continue%20to%20indemnify%20those%20responsible%20for%20road%20crashes%20from%20civil%20liability.
In%20terms%20of%20the%20Scheme,%20payments%20will%20be%20made%20directly%20to%20claimants,%20medical%20and%20healthcare%20service%20providers.%20Funded%20by%20the%20fuel%20levy,%20RABS%20will%20provide%20benefits%20for%20medical%20expenses,%20income%20support,%20family%20support%20and%20funeral%20benefits.
Claimants%20will%20be%20able%20to%20claim%20from%20the%20Scheme,%20while%20the%20Scheme’s%20administrator%20(RABSA)%20will%20assess%20claims%20for%20benefits%20and%20pay%20beneficiaries%20in%20terms%20of%20the%20Act. %20RABSA%20will%20take%20over%20all%20of%20the%20existing%20and%20future%20RAF%20claims%20and%20RAF%20undertakings,%20as%20well%20as%20the%20RAF%20staff. It%20is%20not%20possible%20to%20state%20exactly%20when%20the%20RABS%20Bill%20will%20eventually%20be%20promulgated,%20but%20the%20public%20will%20be%20kept%20updated%20on%20progress%20made%20and%20will%20be%20informed%20closer%20to%20the%20time%20of%20implementation.   What%20are%20some%20of%20the%20misconceptions%20about%20RABS? ·       %20RABS%20will%20not%20be%20as%20effective%20as%20the%20current%20scheme   The%20current%20scheme%20administered%20by%20the%20RAF%20is%20subjected%20to%20fraud,%20opportunistic%20and%20over-inflated%20claims,%20professional%20malpractice%20and%20human%20failing.%20There%20is%20no%20financial%20incentive%20for%20injured%20accident%20victims%20to%20return%20to%20work%20or%20to%20undergo%20rehabilitation.%20In%20addition,%20many%20accident%20victims%20and%20their%20dependants%20are%20excluded%20from%20receiving%20compensation%20for%20medical%20treatment,%20loss%20of%20income,%20loss%20of%20support%20and%20funeral%20expenses,%20due%20to%20the%20fault%20requirement.%20This%20results%20in%20these%20accident%20victims%20having%20to%20rely%20on%20other%20social%20benefit%20schemes%20such%20as%20the%20South%20African%20Social%20Security%20Agency%20for%20grants,%20including%20disability%20grants,%20child%20support%20grants%20and%20foster%20child%20grants.    In%20contrast%20to%20the%20RAF%20that%20only%20provides%20compensation%20to%20motor%20vehicle%20accident%20victims%20who%20can%20prove%20negligence%20on%20the%20part%20of%20another%20driver,%20the%20proposed%20RABS%20scheme%20will%20provide%20benefits%20to%20all%20accident%20victims%20and%20their%20dependants,%20irrespective%20of%20who%20was%20at%20fault.%20 Benefits%20will%20be%20defined%20and%20paid%20in%20a%20structured%20manner.%20   Because%20of%20the%20defined%20nature%20of%20the%20benefits,%20they%20are%20transparent%20and%20easily%20understandable%20by%20a%20claimant,%20compared%20to%20the%20subjective%20nature%20of%20the%20compensation%20paid%20by%20the%20RAF,%20which%20in%20many%20instances%20require%20expert%20opinions%20and%20actuarial%20calculations.%20   ·       %20RABS%20will%20exclude%20lawyers   RABS%20does%20not%20exclude%20a%20claimant’s%20right%20to%20elect%20to%20make%20use%20of%20the%20services%20of%20an%20attorney.%20Disputes%20under%20RABS%20will%20be%20referred%20to%20an%20internal%20appeal%20body.%20If%20the%20claimant%20or%20beneficiary%20remains%20unsatisfied%20with%20the%20outcome%20of%20the%20dispute,%20the%20matter%20may%20be%20referred%20to%20a%20court%20for%20a%20review%20of%20RABS’s%20decision%20or%20action.%20   It%20is%20expected%20that%20the%20role%20of%20attorneys%20in%20the%20new%20scheme%20will%20be%20limited%20considering%20the%20removal%20of%20the%20requirement%20to%20prove%20fault%20and%20due%20to%20the%20fact%20that%20benefits%20are%20defined.%20However,%20RABS%20will%20continue%20to%20administer%20claims%20that%20arose%20under%20the%20RAF%20scheme%20which%20will%20mean%20that%20attorneys%20will%20continue%20to%20play%20a%20significant%20role%20in%20respect%20of%20those%20particular%20claims.%20   ·       %20RABS’s%20structured%20payments%20will%20disadvantage%20claimants   Currently,%20lump-sum%20payments%20made%20by%20the%20RAF%20are,%20in%20many%20instances,%20utilised%20by%20claimants%20for%20the%20purchase%20of%20luxury%20vehicles,%20homes%20and%20holidays,%20and%20not%20for%20the%20purpose%20for%20which%20the%20payments%20are%20made.%20This%20inevitably%20results%20in%20many%20claimants%20soon%20being%20in%20a%20position%20where%20they%20are%20unable%20to%20sustain%20themselves.%20   RABS%20will%20make%20structured%20or%20monthly%20payments%20of%20benefits%20to%20ensure%20that%20the%20benefits%20are%20used%20for%20the%20intended%20purpose%20and%20also%20that%20they%20are%20available%20when%20needed%20in%20future.%20RABS%20benefits%20are%20furthermore%20protected%20from%20attachment%20by%20creditors.   Structured%20payments%20will%20also%20support%20the%20financial%20viability%20of%20the%20Scheme%20in%20that%20the%20monthly%20payments%20will%20cease%20when%20the%20beneficiary%20is%20successfully%20rehabilitated%20and%20returns%20to%20work.%20The%20Scheme%20would%20have%20over-compensated%20the%20claimant%20if%20a%20lump-sum%20payment%20had%20been%20made.   ·       %20RABS%20is%20not%20financially%20sustainable   Benefits%20will%20be%20capped%20in%20order%20to%20provide%20affordable%20and%20sustainable%20benefits%20to%20more%20people%20that%20would%20otherwise%20not%20have%20had%20a%20claim%20under%20the%20scheme%20administered%20by%20the%20RAF.%20   RABS%20prioritises%20rehabilitation%20and%20focuses%20on%20the%20return%20to%20work%20of%20injured%20beneficiaries,%20which%20may%20result%20in%20shorter%20benefit%20payment%20periods%20due%20to%20the%20benefit%20ceasing%20when%20the%20beneficiary%20returns%20to%20work.   A%20medical%20tariff%20will%20limit%20RABS’s%20expenditure%20on%20medical%20and%20associated%20costs.   Benefits%20will%20be%20paid%20in%20instalments,%20as%20opposed%20to%20lump-sum%20payments%20currently%20made%20by%20the%20RAF.%20   The%20removal%20of%20fault%20and%20the%20provision%20for%20defined%20benefits%20further%20limit%20room%20for%20disputes%20and%20associated%20legal%20costs%20that%20would%20otherwise%20have%20been%20incurred.%20Additionally,%20an%20internal%20dispute%20resolution%20mechanism%20aims%20to%20address%20disputes%20in%20an%20efficient%20and%20cost%20effective%20manner.   ·       %20RABS%20will%20result%20in%20payment%20delays   This%20is%20quite%20to%20the%20contrary.%20In%20a%20fault-based%20system%20such%20as%20that%20administered%20by%20the%20RAF,%20it%20is%20a%20requirement%20for%20fault%20to%20be%20proven%20before%20any%20compensation%20can%20be%20paid.%20Not%20only%20is%20it%20necessary%20to%20prove%20that%20another%20motor%20vehicle%20driver%20was%20at%20fault,%20but%20it%20is%20also%20necessary%20to%20determine%20the%20percentage%20of%20each%20driver’s%20negligence.%20The%20investigation%20into%20the%20fault%20aspect%20may%20take%20a%20long%20time%20and%20often%20leads%20to%20litigation%20which%20further%20delays%20settlement%20of%20the%20claim.%20The%20associated%20litigation%20may%20also%20result%20in%20a%20reduction%20in%20the%20compensation%20received%20by%20the%20claimant,%20as%20the%20legal%20representative%20will%20recoup%20his%20legal%20fees%20and%20the%20costs%20of%20experts%20used%20during%20the%20litigation%20from%20the%20amount%20paid%20by%20the%20RAF.  %20   Benefits%20provided%20by%20RABS%20will%20reach%20many%20more%20road%20crash%20victims%20and%20their%20families%20much%20sooner%20than%20is%20currently%20the%20case.     ·       %20RABS’s%20prescription%20period%20will%20disadvantage%20claimants   The%20period%20within%20which%20claims%20must%20be%20lodged%20with%20the%20RABS%20are%20more%20generous%20than%20those%20under%20the%20RAF%20legislation.%20For%20instance,%20under%20the%20RAF,%20a%20“hit-and-run”%20claim%20(a%20claim%20where%20the%20driver%20of%20the%20other%20vehicle%20is%20not%20identified)%20must%20be%20lodged%20within%20two%20years%20from%20the%20date%20of%20the%20accident.%20RABS,%20however,%20does%20not%20distinguish%20between%20claims%20where%20the%20driver%20of%20the%20other%20vehicle%20is%20not%20identified,%20and%20all%20claims%20should%20be%20lodged%20within%20three%20years.%20   Minors,%20mentally%20incapacitated%20persons%20and%20those%20under%20curatorship%20will%20be%20able%20to%20lodge%20claims%20until%20one%20year%20after%20they%20are%20legally%20in%20a%20position%20to%20do%20so.%20     ·        %20RABS%20will%20exclude%20foreigners,%20including%20tourists   All%20foreigners%20or%20tourists%20legally%20in%20South%20Africa%20(SA)%20will%20be%20entitled%20to%20the%20following%20benefits: Ø %20A%20healthcare%20services%20benefit,%20subject%20to%20the%20service%20being%20provided%20in%20SA; Ø %20An%20income%20support%20benefit,%20provided%20that%20the%20beneficiary’s%20ordinary%20place%20of%20residence%20is%20in%20SA,%20and%20for%20as%20long%20as%20the%20beneficiary%20is%20an%20ordinary%20resident%20in%20SA; Ø %20A%20family%20support%20benefit,%20provided%20that%20the%20dependant’s%20ordinary%20place%20of%20residence%20is%20in%20SA,%20and%20for%20as%20long%20as%20the%20dependant’s%20ordinary%20place%20of%20residence%20remains%20in%20SA;%20and Ø %20A%20claim%20for%20a%20funeral%20benefit.   If%20the%20foreign%20claimant%20was%20not%20legally%20present%20in%20SA%20at%20the%20time%20of%20the%20accident,%20the%20claimant%20will%20only%20be%20entitled%20to%20emergency%20healthcare%20services,%20i.e.%20healthcare%20services%20required%20to%20stabilise%20the%20medical%20condition%20of%20the%20injured%20person.%20In%20the%20event%20of%20the%20illegal%20foreigner’s%20death,%20no%20dependant%20will%20be%20entitled%20to%20a%20family%20support%20benefit,%20nor%20will%20the%20immediate%20family%20be%20entitled%20to%20a%20funeral%20benefit.       ·        %20RABS%20payments%20will%20stop%20if%20a%20claimant%20dies   Subject%20to%20the%20RABS%20benefits%20rules,%20which%20define%20the%20entitlement%20criteria%20for%20each%20specific%20benefit,%20benefits%20will%20be%20payable%20to%20the%20claimant%20as%20long%20as%20the%20claimant%20is%20alive,%20i.e.%20income%20and%20family%20support%20benefits%20are%20not%20transferable.%20If%20the%20claimant%20later%20passes%20away%20as%20a%20result%20of%20the%20injuries%20sustained%20in%20the%20car%20crash,%20the%20claimant’s%20benefits%20will%20cease,%20but%20his%20dependents%20may%20then%20be%20entitled%20to%20claim%20family%20support%20benefits.   ·       %20RABS’s%20electronic%20application%20process%20will%20disadvantage%20claimants%20with%20no%20access%20to%20e-mail%20or%20fax%20facilities A%20claim%20may%20be%20lodged%20electronically,%20by%20post%20or%20manually%20by%20filling%20in%20the%20necessary%20forms.%20RABS%20is%20furthermore%20obliged%20to%20assist%20claimants%20to%20lodge%20claims.%20 RABS%20will%20take%20over%20the%20existing%20RAF%20national%20footprint%20comprising%20of%20its%20head%20office,%20five%20regional%20offices,%20five%20customer%20service%20centres%20and%2083%20hospital%20service%20centres.%20Additionally,%20RABS%20will%20continue%20to%20take%20its%20services%20to%20claimants%20in%20rural%20areas%20via%20the%20current%20‘RAF%20on%20the%20Road’%20community%20outreach%20campaign.%20   ·       %20The%20Department%20of%20Transport%20(DoT)%20has%20not%20consulted%20widely%20about%20the%20RABS%20Bill The%20DoT%20drafted%20the%20Bill%20following%20public%20consultation%20and%20final%20approval%20by%20Cabinet%20of%20the%20RABS%20Policy%20in%202011.%20The%20initial%20RABS%20Bill%20was%20published%20in%202013%20and%20revised%20following%20consideration%20of%20public%20comments.%20The%20revised%20Bill,%20Regulations%20and%20Rules%20were%20published%20for%20comment%20on%209%20May%202014.%20 The%20RAF%20developed%20the%20draft%20Rules%20and%20Forms%20required%20by%20the%20Bill%20and%20are%20consulting%20concurrently%20with%20the%20DoT%20on%20said%20draft%20Rules%20and%20Forms.%20These%20consultations%20have%20occurred%20with%20various%20stakeholders,%20including%20the%20public,%20legal%20and%20medical%20fraternities. Apart%20from%20the%20national%20RABS%20workshop%20held%20in%20Centurion%20on%2019%20June%202014,%20the%20DoT%20has%20already%20held%20provincial%20RABS%20workshops%20in%20the%20Eastern%20Cape%20(Zwelitsha,%20King%20William’s%20Town%20and%20Port%20Elizabeth),%20KwaZulu-Natal%20(Empangeni,%20Pietermaritzburg%20and%20Durban),%20North%20West%20(Mahikeng,%20Rustenburg%20and%20Potchefstroom),%20Limpopo%20(Giyani%20and%20Polokwane),%20Northern%20Cape%20(Upington%20and%20Kimberley),%20Western%20Cape%20(Cape%20Town,%20Vredenburg%20and%20George),%20Free%20State%20(Kroonstad%20and%20Mangaung),%20and%20Gauteng%20(Springs%20and%20Soweto).%20 ADDITIONAL%20INFORMATION%20ON%20RABS