Road Accident Fund runs to court to avoid financial 'implosion'

Fund 'is experiencing severe financial difficulties that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic', CEO Collins Letsoalo tells high court

The Road Accident Fund has made an "extraordinary" application to the high court. Stock photo.
The Road Accident Fund has made an "extraordinary" application to the high court. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has slipped into deep financial trouble.

The organisation bared its “imminent implosion” in a high court application to suspend all writs of execution granted against it, as well as settlements it has already reached with claimants — be it court orders or settlements — for a period of 180 days.

In the application lodged in the high court in Pretoria, the RAF said this would enable it to pay the oldest claims first.

The RAF’s CEO, Collins Letsoalo, told the court that the fund “is experiencing severe financial difficulties that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The fund “undertook to use its best endeavours to pay all claims based on court orders already granted or settlements already reached older than 180 days, on or before April 30 2021”.  

The RAF cited 23 respondents, including the Legal Practice Council, Absa and various law firms. The Pretoria Attorneys Association and the General Council of the Bar joined the litigation as friends of the court. Some of the personal injury lawyers fiercely challenged the application.

The court granted the order on Friday.

“All writs of execution and attachments against the applicant based on court orders already granted or settlements already reached in terms of the Road Accident Fund Act ... are suspended until April 30 2021,” the judgment reads.

The court ordered the RAF to pay all claims on court orders already granted and settlements which it has already reached with claimants which are “older than 180 days as from the date of the court order or date of the settlement reached, on or before April 30”.

This is provided that RAF has been “notified by any attorneys who represent claimants that have such claims that are older than 180 days of the existence of such claims”.

“All writs of execution and warrants of attachment against [RAF] based on court orders already granted or settlements already reached ... which are not older than 180 days as from the date of the court order or date of the settlement reached, are suspended from May 1 until September 12 ,” the court ruled.

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