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The usual predictable RAF financial problems

It is uncanny how, whenever somebody at the Road Accident Fund wants to try and implement new legislation, they ensure that we get a never-ending source of media stories about the Road Accident Fund’s current financial status.  They even seem to get onto the bandwagon of the petrol price, whereas of course they have no intention of reducing the contribution to the Road Accident Fund, once and if the law is changed and a new system is implemented. 

This is really fake news at its best – the newspapers reporting what they have been told by the Road Accident Fund management and press agents without any regard to what the actual reality is.  An impression is created, although they very carefully never say that the petrol price will go down, that with the change in law the Road Accident Fund can be sorted out and it will not cost the public as much any more and the new system will benefit everybody. 

It is amazing that this whole system was designed to counteract the problems of the past system and we had to listen to all of these stories in 2007 about the system they implemented in 2008.  They now act as if this current system we have is a system we have always had, that it is exploited by attorneys and it needs to change.  Instead of going into the mismanagement of the Road Accident Fund and the various things they could do to save considerable costs.  Just as one example, there are thousands of cases that go to court just on past medical expenses alone – known as supplies claims.  Attorneys representing the Road Accident Fund and attorneys representing hospitals earn fees out of these cases and quite often the amounts paid out in fees are 10 times or more the amount in dispute.  The Road Accident Fund could simply prevent that the second such a claim comes to their attention – let’s say for R5,000 – by settling it for R5,000 and putting in an offer for R5,000. Instead, nobody at the Road Accident Fund deals with the file and eventually the attorneys representing the hospital issue a summons, the matter goes to trial and attorneys for the Road Accident Fund settle the case for R5,000.  The attorneys representing the Road Accident Fund earn a fee of let’s say R45,000, the attorneys representing the hospital tax a party and party bill which will be less than the defendant’s attorneys’ fees for let’s say R35,000 and a total of R85,000 has been paid out so that two attorneys’ firms can settle the case for R5,000 when the Road Accident Fund could have settled it for R5,000 right from the start on day one.

I must say I do not like what either firms of attorneys are doing in such cases.  My firm has absolutely nothing to do with supplies claims – we only represent individuals with bigger and worthwhile cases.  We don’t take on cases intentionally just so our client can get a certificate of undertaking from the Road Accident Fund with no money and we receive costs as some firms do.  It is these types of practices that are destroying the Road Accident Fund and what people forget is that at any given time out of the approximately 200,000 claims that are lodged a year only about 50,000 of those are actually for individuals – the other 150,000 are supplies claims.  If those were dealt with effectively by the Road Accident Fund and R5,000 is paid out by them instead of R85,000 in the above example, the Road Accident Fund would be in a far better financial position.  Unfortunately though, it would appear that the approximately 1,600 staff members of the Road Accident Fund are paid to be there, but not to settle these cases.  One wonders why they cannot make settlement offers in the 120 days they are given to investigate cases and stop this absolute carnage and complete waste of money.  Sure, it would be nice if the attorneys that represent the Road Accident Fund and the attorneys representing the hospitals could also take a bit more care before litigating over these matters, but the truth of the matter is the Road Accident Fund gives them the excuse that perhaps they are just looking for by not making any offers in those matters.  In that respect, I do believe that the Road Accident Fund is very badly managed and if it was properly managed and attention paid in particular to the supplies claims there would not be any problems in the first place.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 12-Nov-18 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Shristi  said:
on Sunday 02-Dec-18 06:26 PM
The way the Fund is managed is dismal. What makes it even worse is the work ethic of most of the staff. They could not care less to look at their file before and try and settle a matter that should have been settled ages ago. If RABS comes into operation it is going to be total chaos and go from bad to worse.

Brenda Du Toit   said:
on Tuesday 27-Nov-18 06:52 AM
When we had to phone the RAF for Capital and Bills of Cost Payments they where very rude over the phone and they don't go the extra mile to help you.I agree it is not well managed at all.

Ashleigh  said:
on Thursday 22-Nov-18 11:13 AM
Anything that is connected to the government is a problem. All these things that happen nowadays does not surprise a person anymore.

Alexis  said:
on Wednesday 21-Nov-18 04:33 PM
If only one could work and strive for the benefit of those whom are injured - instead of making excuses and causing delays in the process. Yes, I can agree that it is not well managed - though you do get the very few who do try

Victoria  said:
on Wednesday 21-Nov-18 02:52 PM
The RAF is very badly managed and they need to come up with solutions to sort out the problems they having.

Michelle D  said:
on Tuesday 20-Nov-18 08:31 AM
The RAF is very poorly run. The amount of times a matter is settled on the morning of court is astonishing. By this stage it is too late to save on costs as each party has already appointed their own counsel and witnesses and have attended court. It is so easily avoidable. If the RAF just took the time to look at each matter beforehand and apply their minds it would save them a lot of money that they use on attorneys and advocate's fees.

courtney  said:
on Monday 19-Nov-18 04:56 PM
I speak to the RAF every day, it's the rudest people I've ever heard of in my life! Also they stretch a thing out to the next level.

Liz  said:
on Friday 16-Nov-18 02:13 PM
The Road Accident Fund is poorly managed not only are the little things not in place such as answering incoming calls, matters are looked at and investigated on the day of trial whereas these matters could have been settled ages ago and saved the thousands of Rands of costs for both sides. Simple matters such as merits matters are also left to the last minute, not even conceding passenger claims. Something needs to be done about the effectiveness of the Fund after that I believe a lot of their financial issues will be dealt with.

Melissa van Tellingen   said:
on Friday 16-Nov-18 11:13 AM
I agree with Jolene in that the RAF is poorly managed. If they just have a look at the matters way in advance they can save so much costs. I had a matter the other day where we only went on past hospital and medical expenses as there was no loss and it was clear that the client had no loss at all and their reports indicated same as well. We ended up getting a offer in Loss and we were really surprised. Things like this obviously benefits our clients but for the RAF it's the complete opposite and it's costing the RAF unnecessary money that they seem to no have at this stage.

Jadine Esterhuizen  said:
on Thursday 15-Nov-18 08:12 AM
It is an absolute hassle to get any instructions out of them. Having worked for a law firm previously acting on behalf of the RAF, I often had to lie about trial dates (send executive summaries early off to the Fund) just to get instructions timeously to settle on matters that aren't even the Thousands of Rands that we used to earn a fee on.

Jolene  said:
on Wednesday 14-Nov-18 08:48 PM
I agree, the RAF is poorly managed. They can save huge amounts on costs if they put a little more effort into these cases and settle at an earlier stage. The DJP recently stepped in and numerous merits cases were sort out quickly. The RAF needs better management not new laws.

Fikile  said:
on Wednesday 14-Nov-18 03:57 PM
It is such a shame to see people getting by with other peoples tears and heart breaks, it's so hard to be corned by people you are hoping will help you in the tragic thing you have just went through but all they do is make it worse. I am so happy to be working for someone that is always willing to help the client and always wants to see his clients happy and who are willing to talk about him to other people.

Jessica A   said:
on Wednesday 14-Nov-18 12:32 PM
I must agree that there are several matters that clog the trial roll that should not see the inside of Court - Not only are they draining the Fund for frivilous litigation costs, they are setting back those matters that need to be adjudicated!

Thabitha  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 04:22 PM
Their main focus is changing rule and laws, they do not care about client's and working hard is the last thing they must just stop wasting money on unnecessary things.

Prishani  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 03:58 PM
This is what I always say when people comment about RAF attorneys, the management of funds at the Road accident fund is simply shocking. I wonder when thorough investigations are done on the this what more shocking discoveries will be made, the RAF is designed to compensate injured people, there should be no shortcuts and many of the matters can be settled long before a trial date if attention is paid to a matter, instead matters are only looked at on the date of trial when the costs have already been incurred.

Dune  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 03:56 PM
Well lets see what happens today, I still think it is completely unconstitutional if RABS gets pulled through. I am busy with a case now where the fund offered the client just over R5000 in full and final settlement, and the client has a confirmed head injury, and we will be claiming an access of R1 000 000. Just goes to show how little they care about clients and their right to be compensated just and fairly.

Melissa  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 03:18 PM
I think if the RAF is placed under new management (someone that actually knows what they are doing) things will turn out in a better perspective, but we can forget it, things will never change

Nina  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 03:06 PM
It will be very interesting to see how things play out in the next couple of years.

Tamaryn  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 12:38 PM
It is the same practice we see in other government institutions of not maintaining anything, waiting for it to break, and then having to spend a fortune of time and money replacing it, while singing sad songs to the public. If things had been done properly and effectively from the start, if processes and checks had been put in place, if the RAF was not losing hundreds of millions in unnecessary court costs each year, there would be no need to re-invent the wheel, plead bankruptcy and try to convince the public as a whole that they are trying to do them a favor by implementing a new system which may bring down the petrol costs, when effectively we know that won't happen. What they're not saying is that the proposed new system, purportedly a beneficial one to the public, is brought about by sheer mismanagement and disinterest and it would be easier to start a new system than attempt to solve the self-created failings within the current system.

Joyce  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:50 AM
It sounds like RAF is losing lot of money to suppliers claims and think that if these kind of claims were not negligently managed, RAF would not be going through more financial problems

Angelique Jurgens  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:43 AM
It certainly is poorly managed but at the same time, I feel that they have improved drastically. I remember a few years ago, no one at the call centre would even answer the phone and now they do - they have to. They still have a long way to go. I think it also boils down to qualifications. Claims handlers should be properly qualified in order to make offers. An institution so big relies on everyone doing their work. So you could have one employee working hard yet cannot progress or complete the task because he has to wait for his colleague to do his work. It then becomes much more easier to sit back and not work because otherwise it's really just one big headache. This is what I was told by someone who worked for the fund.

Daniella  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:21 AM
The sad thing is that the news will publish or televise anything and everything government institutions say. There needs to be proper investigations as they are here to inform us when such a thing is a sham, because unfortunately there are so many gullible people out there that are getting robbed by the Road Accident Fund.

candice  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:12 AM
Any Goverment facility is run poorly in this country ,They should implement new systems,I think people are getting very tired of dealing with Lazy people . As long as they get a salary they really not interested in other people.

Natasha  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:11 AM
With our Government things will never chance.Our country needs a government that will actually have a system that works.

Megan  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:07 AM
I think if the mind set of the staff at the RAF were set a little differently, a lot of things would move a lot smoother. I mean when we receive acknowledgement letters from them they sometimes send generic letters even though we had lodged the document but I have to give credit to them sending them very close to lodgement dates.

Cornelie  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 11:01 AM
The fund is very very badly managed the other day at court the attorneys could not get instructions from the handlers as all had to sit and attend a fashion show yet people out there need to be compensated and when it comes to payments on the Undertaking the plaintiff's get so tired to follow up as they just do not do there bit and again there is no management.

Bianca T  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 07:52 AM
As long as its managed by our government nothing will change.

Sarah  said:
on Tuesday 13-Nov-18 06:33 AM
The RAF needs a system that will work for all of us. They need staff that is willing to work but like everything in our government that is not going to happen

Mathilda Du Preez  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 11:19 AM
The RAF needs someone like Michael De Broglio to give them guidance on how to properly manage a firm.
Firstly what claims to take on, that will be worthwhile.
Secondly they need to cut the amount of employees they have and rather get people who can do their job like Juanita and Yolande, also they need to get managers who will also assist in a query and not just “forward” your query to the 50 people working under them and at the end of the day no one gets back to you because they have “pass the buck” mentality.
Thirdly they need to cut unnecessary spending and reconsider some of their staff salaries.

Jadine Richards  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 10:02 AM
The work ethic of the majority of the Fund's staff members is truly horrific. There is a complete disregard for the fact that the are dealing with public Funds. Furthermore, the hardship that is caused by a general laziness on their part is completely unacceptable.

Clare  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 10:02 AM
In to days life nothing in this country is working the way it should no Government running fasciitis work well from Home Affairs, to UIF to the Road Accident Fund there is always issues.

Bianca N  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 09:41 AM
Not too long ago there was an article alleging that the RAF spends an insane amount of money, on furniture. I know the staff need somewhere to sit but the amount mentioned in articles are ridiculous. If they were to settle amounts without everything going to court the financial status of the RAF would be much better. It is extremely poorly managed, like just about every other government institution.

Jessica M  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 08:47 AM
I feel very sorry for all the individuals that actually believe what the RAF is saying. They prefer to pay the people that work there big salaries and payouts to the client's even less. I feel that people involved in road accident's will suffer way more if this comes in. Yes you pay your attorney, but that's because you will get way more out than just what they intend on giving. We have had plenty client's coming to us with ridiculous offers from the RAF, could you imagine how bad it would be if they didn't have attorneys to advise them better.

Michelle  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 08:35 AM
It's all just done to make money, as in most cases.

brumilde  said:
on Monday 12-Nov-18 08:09 AM
I must say anything that is managed by the government is always a sham, i wonder if they implement a new system, after a couple of years what excuse they will come up with then, sort out the inner workings for the clock and things will run smoother.


Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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