Allowing undocumented immigrants to access RAF sets dangerous precedent ‒ ATM

ATM President Vuyo Zungula. | Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

ATM President Vuyo Zungula. | Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 18, 2024


LEADER of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) Vuyo Zungula has revealed that allowing undocumented immigrants to access the Road Accident Fund (RAF), sets a dangerous precedent for abuse of our public welfare systems meant for vulnerable South Africans.

On Wednesday, Zungula in a statement decried the attempts by non-governmental organisations that legally fight the government’s attempts to clamp down on foreign nationals benefiting from the RAF.

Contributions to the RAF are done by way of a levy on fuel used for road transportation. The cover extends to all members of society including, but not limited to, the poor, children, legal and illegal immigrants, foreigners, owners and drivers of motor vehicles, as well as their passengers.

Last month, a Department of Transport regulation and RAF management directive that attempted to exclude foreigners who are illegally in South Africa from submitting claims against the RAF was declared invalid by the Gauteng High Court,, Pretoria.

Judge Norman Davis reviewed and set aside the provisions of the substituted RAF 1 claim form issued by former minister of transport Fikile Mbalula in terms of the RAF Act and prescribed by a notice published in the Government Gazette on July 4, 2022.

However, Zungula ‒ who has been vocal about the issue of the country’s borders ‒ said in a letter to Parliament this week that these provisions should be strongly regulated, adding that the recent court ruling was had left the country’s welfare integrity far worse than it had been.

“As a concerned citizen and a public representative deeply invested in the well-being of our nation and the responsible allocation of public funds, I staunchly oppose this judgment. This decision must be appealed, and if necessary, that Parliament must enact or amend legislation to prevent undocumented immigrants who have entered the country illegally from accessing RAF benefits.”

Zungula has indicated that this judgment fails to consider the sustainability of the fund, which is already stretched and has suffered budgetary constraints in recent months.

“Let us first consider the impact of this judgment on the financial sustainability of the RAF. The fund is already under significant strain, grappling with insolvency and struggling to meet its obligations to legitimate claimants. Opening the door to undocumented immigrants claiming RAF benefits further exacerbates the challenge, potentially diverting critical resources away from deserving South Africans who rely on the fund for support during times of hardship,” he said.

The Star

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