Cape Town: Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has unveiled a mobile office for the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to increase accessibility to claimants in far flung areas.
The Minister unveiled the mobile office at the Mandela Park Stadium in Khayelitsha during World Remembrance Day on Sunday.
“[This is] the first of its kind. It is innovation. This is a way of getting in particular those people we are worried about. Those people who are on the farms, in the small towns, in the rural areas who we have not been able to get. This vehicle will get to them,” she said.
She said the mobile office was a way of bringing a consoling and comforting hand to those who had been involved in accidents.
World Remembrance Day is held to remember the millions killed and injured on the world’s roads. It is commemorated globally on the third Sunday of November every year as adopted by the United Nations.
When the Minister arrived at the Mandela Park Stadium on Sunday she cut a ribbon to officially unveil the mobile office, before assisting a claimant waiting in the queue to check the status of his claim on the system.
The Minister helped him establish how far his claim was in nearing completion.
She told journalists the department would assess the impact the mobile office has on service delivery before deciding whether or not to roll out more of them.
“Remember when you start something, you want to see how you can make a difference and look at the cost factors.
“This mobile office alone cost more than R2 million … and you know that we need to check whether it will give us the returns … and then they can bring in more,” she said.
The Minister said the RAF currently uses its office staff to run the mobile office and should the campaign be expanded, more out of office employees will be recruited.
Currently, RAF’s full bouquet of services are available through its five regional offices, 98 hospital service centres anda flagship outreach campaign.
Various activations are regularly conducted at churches, shopping malls, taxi ranks, garage forecourts and during joint roadblocks with traffic departments to raise awareness about the fund.
Phumelela Dhlomo, RAF’s chief marketing officer, said the mobile office was being launched just in time for the festive season when people are more susceptible to motor vehicle accidents.
He said the mobile office will be an extension of RAF’s current community outreach campaign, called “RAF on the road”, a programme that the agency has been running for a while.
“RAF on the road” is a programme where a temporary office is set up in community to offer full services to members of the public as far as road accident claims are concerned.
Dhlomo said during a recent outreach in Khayelitsha two months ago, 1 600 people were reached.
After Khayelitsha, 900 people were reached in Kokstad.
“This year alone, we have reached about 30 000 people through that programme. So this is an extension of “RAF on the road”.