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South Africa: Committee Takes Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill to the People

The Portfolio Committee on Transport has called on local communities to come in numbers and attend public hearings on the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill starting from next week.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Dikeledi Magadzi, said the committee is looking to solicit views as wide as possible on the new model for the Road Accident Fund.

“Parliamentarians are representatives of the people, hence it is important in legislation making that from time to time, and on critical matters, we go to the people and ask how they see law working to their benefit. These public hearings are about that, giving South Africans to air their views on such an important piece of legislation as the RABS Bill,” Ms Magadzi said.

“We are saying this is not a process of lawyers and professionals but ordinary people in villages and in towns. Our people must influence government policy as well as government programmes, our people must benefit out of law-making,” she said.

The committee will hold public hearings on the RABS Bill throughout the nine provinces of the country. The benefit scheme will replace the Road Accident Fund Act, and is intended to extend benefits more to the accident victims. Various proposals have been made during the parliamentary leg of the public hearings, where professional bodies came to present.

Issues that came to the fore during the public hearings on the RABS Bill included scrupulous lawyers, challenges with the introduction of a no-fault system, income generation potential for those victims whose income generation is cut short while still at university

Ms Magadzi said all the inputs will make the committee wiser and the different views expressed will find expression in the Bill.

Committee programme is available on request and the public hearings will start in the North West.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.