RABS: “Turnaround Speech”

9 December 2018 – On chrishunsinger.co.za

Referred to as… a stunning turnaround” by Times Livethis speech in the National Assembly of Parliament highlighted the deficiencies of The Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill (RABS) & presented a strong case of irrational design & manipulated process in the 2nd Reading Debate on 04 December 2018, whereas the RABS Bill intended to replace the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996 in SA. With all other opposition parties following paragon, approval did not succeed on the day & was defeated a second time on 6th December 2018 & a third attempt (5th December 2018) was stemmed via application of NA Rules.

by Hon. Chris Hunsinger MP,

Speaker; contrasted against the dire need for sincere intent to deliver a fair civic deal; what we are faced with in the Road Accident Benefit Scheme; reflects irrational design & manipulated process.

The current financial dilemma of Road Accident Fund is a result of mismanagement, sloppy governance, deliberate interference of operations & disregard for administrative discipline.

By approving RABS you irrationally be:

  • Subjecting the South-African public to immense financial pressure; having to fund a dual system which would result in an increased fuel levy of up to 75%; to fund both RAF & RABS for at least 13 years, this is unwarranted,

By approving RABS you will be:

  • Subjecting the fiscus to a financial burden which is based upon uncertain & unreliable information, this is irrational & unjustified,

By approving RABS you will be:

  • legitimizing under-settlement, which is unfair,

By approving RABS you will:

  • contrary to the 2003 Satchwell Commission’s recommendations; be, indemnifying the wrongdoer, something which is immoral & wicked,

By approving RABS you will be:

  • excluding the: “not-economically-active-victim”, this is irrational & not Pro-Poor,

By approving RABS you will be:

  • stopping general damages & with that any opportunity to restore a victims’ financial security over the longer term; this is cruel & short-sighted,

By approving RABS you will:

  • eliminate claimant’s access to medical costs incurred when preparing a claim, this is harsh, & punishing,

By approving RABS you will be:

  • denying under 18 & over 60-year-old victims of a direct claim, this is irrational, & heartless,

Mindful of the financial agony which the Road Accident Fund has landed itself into the DA consistently promotes amendment to the current RAF Act, acknowledging RABS as “a” solution but not the “only” solution.  This Bill is far from the logical base of the Satchwell Commission’s decisions & proposals of 15 years ago & today unsupported with relevant actuarial evidence.

We have offered effective measures through which the financial bleeding of the Fund can be stopped with immediate effect. Frequently, I have approached each of the three Transport Ministers over the last four years to accommodate such a dialogue.

Ignorance, however, is not to be blamed, but something much more brutal – mindful of the fact that sessions were recorded during the Public Participation Process undertaken in 9 provinces, I place it on record that only 13% directly supported RABS – in fact, the majority complained & shared bad experiences, not realizing that RABS will provide far less remedy & check-&-balances. 7 provinces rejected RABS of which 4; rather favoured amendments; to the current Act. Frustration amongst members of the committee, realizing it’s not going their way, built up to such an extent that up to 17 interruptions were recorded during particular public submissions.

The public participation process supported by Industry Specialists & Stakeholders, held here at Parliament, followed the same trend, with little regard, let alone impact allowed, measured against the substantial content & quality that was offered.

During the last phase of this unreasonable journey the DA submitted a written minority view in accordance with NA Rules 166 & 288 to be included as part of the Portfolio Committees Report. This, in compliance with provisions which invites minority parties to specify in which respects there was no consensus, we expressed & conveyed views to facilitate this debate; Unwarranted, our report was removed from the draft version & not included in the Report tabled here today. In this regard we have approached your office, Speaker & still await your response.

Speaker, in accordance with NA Rule 291(5)(a), the DA requests this Bill to be recommitted to the committee for reconsideration based on amendments which we submitted; again, approaching your office yet not receiving any response. Therefore, we reject the Report & do not support the RABS Bill in its current irrational fabrication.

I thank you