8 September 2008
A new booklet will give people visiting South Africa for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup a clear description of local road regulations, as well as procedures to be followed in case of any accidents on the road.
The booklets, which will be distributed at airports across the country, at Home Affairs offices and at the South African Reserve Bank, form part of a Department of Transport campaign scheduled to run during the two football tournaments.
“With the booklet in mind, we will be able to instil traffic rules and regulations especially to those tourists who are used to left-hand drive vehicles, so that they know the implications when using our roads,” Department of Transport official Matshidiso Setai told BuaNews this week.
“The booklet will further help us to regulate claims by tourists in an event where they are involved in a car accident while in the country as this will help the Road Accident Fund in situations where large amounts of money have to be paid to foreign tourists.”
She added that the booklet would encourage tourists to use public transport, both to curb the congestion on the country’s roads as well as to minimise possible accidents.
The Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill Act 56 of 1996 introduced a number of limitations on the Fund’s liability to pay for certain types of compensation. It is expected that these limitations will improve the organisation’s financial position to ensure its ability to pay out future claims.
The major changes that will be introduced by the Act include claims relating to loss of earnings that will be capped at R160 000 per annum. This, according to the amended Act, means that irrespective of the actual loss, the annual loss will proportionally be calculated at an amount not exceeding R160 000 per annum.
General damages, however, will only be paid out if the injuries have been assessed to be “serious injuries”, while compensation will be paid out in a lump sum.
“The claimant will need to be assessed by a medical practitioner and such a practitioner must use the American Medical Association Guides to assess serious bodily injuries,” says the amended Act.
The amended Act’s objective is to pay compensation for loss or damage wrongfully caused by the driving of motor vehicles.
According to the new amendment, all claims arising from accidents that occurred from 1 August 2008 onwards will be administered under the amended Act.