Road Accident Fund Amendment Draft Bill 2023 – request for information and extension of the period for comment by the UDM
Advocate James Mlawua
Department of Transport
Private Bag X193
Dear Advocate Mlawua
Road Accident Fund Amendment Draft Bill 2023 – request for information and extension of the period for comment by the United Democratic Movement
1. We have noted a Road Accident Amendment Draft Bill 2023 (hereinafter referred to as “the draft Bill”) which was published on the 8th of September 2023.
2. The draft Bill is far reaching and will have a drastic impact, not only on the victims of motor vehicle accidents, but also on the lives and livelihoods of all South Africans including but not limited to a vast amount of motor vehicle victims that will be excluded from claiming without any rational basis behind such an exclusion.
3. We, noted with concern, the thirty-day period allowed for comment, provided grossly insufficient time for proper and meaningful public participation. We are advised that certain bodies and institutions has brought this to your attention even before the closing of the thirty-day deadline, in which these associations requested an extension of time, in order to allow for meaningful public participation. We are advised that you did not respond to these requests.
4. We are further advised that the draft Bill was published without any known prior public participation and without any preceding publicity. We are urgently requesting your response in whether these advises are true. The draft Bill raises serious constitutional issues. It has also not been made clear how, if passed, it will interface and interact with other state institutions or how it will impact these institutions which include not only national but also provincial and local government.
5. It is not clear to us if this draft Bill was published in a language other than English. As you are aware, majority of the population does not have English as their first language, in particular outside urban areas. The latter begs the question if the poor, rural persons who do not speak English as a first language and who are unlikely to have seen the Gazette or realised its impact on their lives was invited to participate.
6. We request that the Department of Transport re-open the period for comments on the draft Bill, for a period of 120 (one hundred and twenty) days starting from 1st of December 2023.
7. We await your kind confirmation within seven (7) days from the date of this letter, failing which, we will be forced to consider legal options.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement