Durban, KZN, South Africa - Cityscape
Durban, KZN, South Africa - Cityscape Magda Ehlers/

Road Accident Fund (RAF) Chief Executive Officer Collins Letsoalo urged all claimants to submit outstanding documents in order to reduce the backlog of 321,000 claims.

During a media briefing held in Centurion Municipality on Thursday, Letsoalo stressed that the RAF is aiming at settling all the pending claims in the next four months. However, he noted that supporting documents are necessary to finalize the claim efficiently and quickly.

"They inform the Fund about what is being claimed, set out the basis of the claim, allow the Fund to investigate, and facilitate an assessment on the merits of the motor vehicle accident," Letsoalo said, SA News reported.

The CEO further shared that the fund has started a campaign called "Drive Your Claim Forward" to encourage claimants to submit their pending documents alongside all the necessary information needed to investigate and pay the claims.

With the help of this campaign, "the RAF anticipates processing and finalizing more claims, thus significantly reducing the waiting period claimants have to endure," he said, adding that claimants and their representatives who claimed before April 2021 are supposed to provide all their pending documents to finalize their claims.

He explained that the major reason behind the delays in processing the claims is pending documents - such as comprehensive medical assessments for serious injuries - from the claimant's end.

"The RAF seeks to ensure that it is doing everything to minimize delays and assist all claimants. Enquiries about which documents to submit can be made at any of the RAF's offices or via email," he said.

The CEO recalled that the RAF introduced a new form in July 2022 to make the process for legal practitioners to lodge claims on behalf of claimants easy and help assist with settling claims quickly.

He added, "The fund's open claim backlog would not be on this scale if road accident victims and attorneys representing them submitted all the required information and documents upfront."

Letsoalo urged all claimants to submit their documents to or physically drop the documents at any of RAF's regional offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, East London and Cape Town.

Last month, the Cabinet said RAF's turnaround strategy yielded significant improvements in claims settlement and cut down legal as well as medical costs.