South Africa’s car insurance industry is well-developed, and a social security such as the Road Accident Fund has existed since the 1970s. The purpose of the fund is to compensate third parties who do not have insurance against a driver’s negligent driving. Simply, if you do not have at least third party insurance, your victim can claim for compensation from the fund.
Unlike in other countries like the USA, car insurance in South Africa is not mandatory, even though the advantages of having at least third party liability cover are well documented. This non-requirement thus puts the uninsured road users at a huge disadvantage. The Road Accident Fund acts as a means to prevent this situation.
According to the Road Accident Fund’s website, victims can claim on their own behalf for a loss of income and payment of medical expenses, just to name a few. Also, the victim’s families can claim for loss of income if the victim was a breadwinner, or for emotional loss, and other things. However, the driver who caused the accident may not claim for anything.
To better understand the Road Accident Fund and the public insurance it offers, a good starting point is understanding the petrol price structure that South Africa uses. The South African public road users subsidize the Fund whenever they purchase fuel for their cars and use the road.