Deputy Minister of Transport, Jeremy Cronin on the Constitutional Court judgment
25 Nov 2010
The Deputy Minister of Transport Jeremy Cronin has welcomed the judgment of the Constitutional Court handed down today, 25 November 2010, in the matter of The Law Society of South Africa, the South African Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and others.
The Constitutional Court has upheld the constitutionality of a provision in the Road Accident Fund Amendment Act abolishing road accident victims’ common law right to claim compensation for losses not compensable under the act. The Constitutional Court has also ruled that the provision limiting the amount of compensation that the Road Accident Fund is obliged to pay for claims of loss of support is constitutional.
Deputy Minister Cronin said, “The Constitutional Court ruling uphold government and parliament’s intention to ensure that Road Accident Fund’s compensation is more equitable and sustainable”. “These rulings will also help to close loop-holes through which a disproportionate amount of the RAF’s compensation ends up in legal professional fees and not with accident victims,” added Deputy Minister Cronin.
The court held that the abolition of the common law right to claim compensation is a justifiable limitation of that right. The court stated that the abolition of the common law right is a necessary and rational part of an interim legislative scheme whose main purpose is to achieve the delivery of a social security service that is financially viable. It further held that the cap on compensation for the loss of income and loss of support was constitutionally sound.
The court dismissed the Applicants appeal with regard to the above issues. The tariff for emergency medical treatment remains unaffected by the Judgment. However, the Deputy Minister of Transport has acknowledged the finding of the Court that the Minister of Transport, will have to prescribe a new tariff for the reimbursement of non-emergency medical expenses incurred by victims of road accidents.
Cell: 082 333 1015
Issued by: Department of Transport
25 Nov 2010
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