RAF maintains stance to exclude foreign nationals from claiming

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The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has put forward a new draft bill proposal aimed at barring foreign nationals from accessing compensation from the fund. McIntosh Polela, the spokesperson for RAF, defended the proposal, citing the need to align with practices adopted in other countries.

According to Polela, the essence of the new bill is to maintain a standard protocol that is commonly observed internationally. He emphasised that the bill is currently undergoing parliamentary review, where its fate will ultimately be determined. Polela underscored the importance of foreign nationals seeking alternative methods to ensure they are covered in the event of any unfortunate accidents, urging them to explore other insurance options available to them.

He further emphasised the principle of parity, highlighting that if the situation were reversed, he would also need to seek adequate coverage in the event of relocating to a foreign country. “If I were to move to Mozambique for argument’s sake, I would have to cover myself in the event that there is an accident,” Polela stated. “Whether I am travelling there on a short-term basis or on a long-term basis, I have to find means to cover myself in a situation that requires me to go to the hospital. We are calling for parity between ourselves and people that are on our shores that are foreign nationals,” he added.

The proposal has stirred significant controversy, with critics expressing concerns over the potential implications for foreign nationals residing in South Africa and the broader implications for equitable access to compensation and support in cases of accidents.

RAF’s new draft Bill proposing excluding foreign nationals from lodging claims

The CEO of the African Diaspora Global Network, Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda, has condemned the new Road Accident Fund draft Bill that proposes to exclude foreign nationals from claiming compensation from the fund.

Sibanda’s criticism follows that of lawyers, lobby groups and medical aids. He says foreign nationals should not be excluded because they are contributing to the fuel levy and indirectly paying taxes.

He says once the Bill goes through Parliament, it could be challenged on grounds of discrimination.

“So I think that the interaction that needs to be taking place now is the interaction of whether it is fair to exclude foreign nationals by virtue of their origins when on the one hand, they are expected to contribute towards the fuel levy. And I think that is what is going to determine the success of this particular bill.”