The replacement of the ailing Road Accident Fund (RAF) with a new and more comprehensive system could take up to three years, the Department of Transport’s director-general, Wronelle Stander, said on Wednesday.

The replacement of the ailing Road Accident Fund (RAF) with a new and more comprehensive system could take up to three years, the Department of Transport’s director-general, Wronelle Stander, said on Wednesday.

The RAF’s replacement would involve a consultation process and the passing of new laws that would require some time. The portfolio committee on transport would request that the next parliament adopt some of its recommendations to ensure that months of work was not wasted in the transitional period, stated.

The recommendations include limiting the fund’s liability in respect of claims received from people who did not hold South African citizenship or residency, and the exclusion of liability for claims for emotional shock resulting from seeing or hearing of the injury or death of another person.

Currently, the objective of the proposed Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill was to ease the fund’s cash flow problems, said Sipho Khumalo, the deputy director-general of transport, also responsible for road traffic matters.

He said the intention was to replace the RAF with part of a proposed state security system to prioritise accident victims’ medical needs.

With a deficit of R23,8 billion, the fund is practically insolvent, though it does receive a monthly cash stipend from fuel levies. The proposed increase in fuel levies would increase the fund’s cash flow.

Chairman of the portfolio committee Jeremy Cronin said the fund’s state was related to the high accident rate on our roads.