Road Accident Fund to speed up payment for victims

Aftermath of a major taxi and truck crash on the R25 when 20 people were killed, including 18 school children. / ALON SKUY
Aftermath of a major taxi and truck crash on the R25 when 20 people were killed, including 18 school children. / ALON SKUY

The families of the 20 people who perished in a car crash in Mpumalanga can claim for funeral benefit and compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

The RAF yesterday said it had stepped in to "ease the pain of families and relatives" following the horrific accident on the R25 between Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng and Verena in Mpumalanga on Friday afternoon.

The overloaded taxi was hit by a truck and caught fire. All but one of the deceased were burnt beyond recognition. A process to conduct DNA tests has begun to identify the deceased.

"A team of RAF personnel was immediately dispatched when news of the accident first broke, and contact has been made with police, stakeholders and relevant hospitals to begin processing the necessary medical support, compensation, and funeral benefit for those who qualify," the RAF said in response to Sowetan's questions yesterday. Seven people survived the crash.

"Our Pretoria teams will today begin engaging with the families together with other relevant stakeholders, extending our condolences and advising them of our services as the consoling arm of government," said RAF Pretoria regional general manager Dineo Thabede.

She said the country could not continue losing young people in road accidents.

"We cannot afford to lose young people on such a large scale and appeal to all motorists to be extra vigilant so we can ensure that we safeguard their lives," she said.

Dave Campbell of Campbell Attorneys said: "[Families can] claim for past and future medical expenses and loss of income and general damages. Should a family member have been killed in the collision, the family may be able to claim for loss of support if a parent or spouse passed [away] but not in a case where a child passed away."

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