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<< November 2007  | December 2007 |  January 2008 >>
Time to get a generator

I have to say, on days like this, when I hear my enormous diesel generator running in the background, that I am quite happy that I took the decision.  Once again half the city is off and this is summer!

Next year winter, with more growth in the ecocomy and electrical services taken to more people, the supply demand situation will be far worse than the last month or so!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 10-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
High Court trial dates

Before you write in and say that the High Court date is incorrect, please note it is based on dates that we get back.  Right now, we have not had a single date in 6 weeks.  The reality may well be that August is already finished, but thats the last date we got for ourselves, or attorneys we do correspondent work (won't do that again!) for.

And again, that is a dte you will get ONCE you receive notofication of a matter you applied for 3 to 5 months beforehand!  The official waiting period is meant to be 11 months but in reality I find it to be 12 to 15 months with not too much consistency.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 14-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
No payments

Payments from the Road Accident Fund have been dismal this week and last.  On 3 December they implemented their SAP software and this is, they tell me, where the delays have come.  The system is meant to make payments much easier and some time back I attended a presentation saying they would be implemented on 5 November.  It would have been far better than now!

Clearly a lot of victims will not be getting paid on time this year - and as usual, the date on a Court order means nothing.  Hopefully the RAF will sort this latest disaster out shortly.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 11-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Payment problems continue

The problems with payments continue.  If you receive any, the chances of finding out who they are for are extremely slim.  This appears to all be linked to the news system installed by SAP which one presumes will do a better job in the near future.  That will not be of much comfort to many right now though.

The RAF have also sent the LSSA a letter I can only politely describe as a get lost letter, on the issue of direct payments.  It does not seem that opinions at the RAF have changed on this subject yet.  Its time to keep your eyes out for any new news and e-mail me immediately if you see or hear anything.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 13-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
RAF fail to make payments
The Road Accident Fund and its CEO, Jacob Modise, were in the media again this past week for lack of payments - with an article featuring a car of theirs being attached by the Sheriff.  It appears the payment situation has not improved very much.  Naseema Venter at their Johannesburg branch has told us payments will be made to attorney firms on the 21st of December so we will wait and see.... as usual!
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 16-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Direct payments will lead to speeding up payments says CEO in media

A rather bizarre story in Business Day today says payments will be sped up by implementing direct payments!  You can read the article here.  The article quotes Road Accident Fund CEO, Jacob Modise alleging that attorneys are resisting these changes and running to the Sheriff.  Hope he has been misquoted and they left out the part about how attorneys only use the Sheriff as a last resort once the Road Accident Fund has ignored Court orders and flagrantly violated the rights of victims in this regard.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 19-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
RAF say new systems makes payments go faster

Another series of press releases seem to have been issued by the RAF, praising direct payments and their new system.  We will no doubt, now have to react to them.  Its a pity they make statements that don't tell the whole story - or at least explain their current new system has tremendous teething problems which are made worse by the fact their staff are not answering their phones again today - so how do you know who a payment is for?  The system may well work better in the future, but do they need to launch it with another attack on attorneys - whom they really do not try very hard to communicate with?

An article for you to read appeared in a number of media today, but here is the Media 24 link to the story.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 20-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
RAF payment fiasco
A JAA story, setting out the side of our members, and following many calls from members, has been issued.  Amongst the places it appears is here on the Moneyweb site.  Attempts by our members to contact Jacob Modise failed, as he is apparently on holiday.  The bottom line is even if you get payments from the RAF, its near impossible to find out who they are for.
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 21-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
The JAA side

Attorneys oppose new RAF system

20 December 2007

The Johannesburg Attorneys Association has renewed its call for the Road Accident Fund to honour Court orders and settlement agreements it reaches and pay settlements in time. The call comes in the wake of yet another incident where property of the RAF was attached in lieu of unsettled claims by victims of road accidents, and further attempts by the Fund to cut the legal profession out of the equation by instituting direct claim and settlement protocols between victims and the RAF.

"It is absurd," says legal specialist, attorney Michael de Broglio. "As it is the RAF are barely managing to run their own finances and pay claims to victims of accidents. Now the fund aims to burden itself with yet more administration costs while already in the red in a blatant attempt to by-pass attorneys." Consequentially, says de Broglio, road accident victims will face an impenetrable barrier of red tape in any effort to claim against the RAF.

 "Without legal representation for victims," he says, "the RAF has free reign to under-settle claims, drag out payments or, as we already see, not settle at all until dragged to Court where they then settle us at the last minute. I question why the RAF cannot honour Court orders and make payments on time and as agreed by them.  Their Finance Department is clumsy, administratively inept and mismanaged to such an extent that it continues to walk the tight rope of the patience of the public and the Courts daily." De Broglio says he doubts whether direct payments by the RAF, as claimed by the Fund, would speed payments up as its CEO Jacob Modise reportedly stated this week. "The RAF has proven, time and again, that it is incapable of managing itself. 

Now it wants to handle claims against itself and toss out attorneys.  How could anyone possibly expect that the situation would improve when even attorneys have to get Court orders and use the Sheriff to get payments honoured by the Fund?"

 De Broglio says that at the moment the RAF deals with approximately 500 attorney firms representing, on average, some 120 000 victims of road accidents annually. Should the RAF pursue its proposed new policy, he says that it is highly likely that the vast majority of claimants would never finish jumping the hurdles the RAF seems to set in the path of anyone requiring compensation.

Several lawyers have contacted the JAA saying that the roll out of the new system, had in fact, led to a slowing down of payments and staff at the RAF were privately commenting on and blaming  the new R 30 million system.  The JAA hoped the situation would be sorted out urgently considering victims need compensation, and not a deluge of allegations blaming the past, lauding expensive new systems and software programs, which have yet to work effectively.  Even today, if an RAF payment was received by an attorney, it remains impossible to know which client or claim such a payment is relevant to, as it seems the phone at the Fund is not being answered most of the time, and RAF staff members who have been contacted privately, say they have no way of knowing, with the new system, who the payments are actually for and have advised only one Department, which cannot be reached, can provide the answers.

Still, in the future, the taxpayer will be subsidizing an even larger administration. In addition, it seems that the RAF has also failed to consider simple factors such as FICA compliance during the claim process. De Broglio says that attorneys often assist clients in opening bank accounts.

"Presently attorneys act on behalf of victims, mostly on upfront risk with a percentage of the settled claim covering legal costs which includes lots of costs in the form of medical experts. Few attorneys will, in future, be prepared to assume any risk should the RAF elect to continue with its direct payments. This, coupled with the proposed changes to the RAF's governing legislation will leave South African road accident victims in a defenceless position should they dare to claim compensation from the fund.  One wonders if this really the purpose?"

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 21-Dec-07   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments

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