After weeks of public consultations and parliamentary debate regarding the Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill, it is likely that many contentious aspects of the bill will simply be scrapped.

After weeks of public consultations and parliamentary debate regarding the Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill, it is likely that many contentious aspects of the bill will simply be scrapped.

The main concern about the bill raised by lawyers, doctors and the community is that the planned move from the current lump sum payments to instalments in a bid to relieve the funds cash flow problems.

The main concern about the bill raised by lawyers, doctors and the community is that the planned move from the current lump sum payments to instalments in a bid to relieve the funds cash flow problems.

The department offered to reinstate the initial lump sum payment, but changed the amount from R25 000 to only R15 000, saying the balance would be paid in instalments over seven years.

According to Jeremy Cronin, chairman of the portfolio committee on transport, said this issue had caused a great deal of anxiety among the general public and the fact that the department was changing the figures so rapidly indicated that it had not been clearly thought through. There were also serious concerns about the ability of the fund to handle the substantial increase in the number of payments.

Cronin said that while the committee recognised the efforts to deal with the fund’s monetary concerns, there were major problems with some key aspects of the bill which were felt to not be in the public’s interest.

Although fund officials tried to sway the committee that the changes were essential, the transport minister’s officials reported that Minister of Transport, Dullah Omar had agreed to withdraw the bill to deal with the concerns rather than rush it through parliament.

Cronin said that he would prefer that the bill be redrafted with the most contentious issues left out to be discussed next week. The bill was supposed to have been debated and voted on by the national assembly on 12 November, and this delay means that the bill will not be passed until next year. It still has to be processed by the national council of provinces as well.

Original article from Car