South Africa’s department of health spends over ZAR 200 mn compensating people who might have been involved in accidents, this is according to Deputy Transport Minister Dikeledi Magadzi.
The minister further stated that accidents cost the country billions of money with respect to road fatalities. She spoke in Rutenberg, North West where she had gone for a mission aimed at reducing road fatalities.
South Africa established a Road Accident Fund (RAF) in 1997 to “provide appropriate cover to all road users within the borders of South Africa; to rehabilitate persons injured, compensate for injuries or death and indemnify wrongdoers as a result of motor vehicle accidents.”
A report issued by the World Health Organisation earlier showed that South Africa has one of the world’s poorest road safety records 31.9 fatalities/100 000 people.
Approximately 1 million road accidents are reported per year in South Africa with the majority of the accidents being caused by human factors. On average, the accidents result to over 40 people a day being fatally injured and at least 20 being left permanently disabled.
Numerous reports have highlighted alarming levels of corruption in the South African police and metro police services with Traffic fines as the most common. While addressing the issue of corruption, the minister urged road users and motorists not to bribe traffic officers.
“Why do you give the officer lunch money. You as a driver why are you doing that, you are corrupting them and therefore you are corrupt too. That is why I am saying the attitudes of our road users must change and we are pleading to those who bribe not to bribe our officers and in the eventuality an officer is asking for lunch money report that officer,” she said.
Featured Image Courtesy: Illustrative archive photo