News Collins Letsoalo appointed as new RAF chief executive officer

Collins Letsoalo appointed as new RAF chief executive officer

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Cabinet has officially approved the appointment of Collins Letsoalo as the chief executive officer of the Road Accident Fund (RAF). 

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said Letsoalo joins RAF at a time when it’s facing daunting challenges and requires a steady hand to guide it through the change into the Road Accident Benefit Scheme, once the enabling law has been passed by Parliament. 

LETSOALO’S QUALIFICATIONS 

According to Mbalula, he is no stranger to the RAF, having worked as its acting CEO over the last few months on secondment from the department. 

“In his previous capacity as the chief financial officer of the department, a role he has served in diligently since 2008, he was intimately involved in providing support to the RAF,” he said. 

Letsoalo holds various qualifications including a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics, an Advanced diploma in central banking, a diploma in Treasury Management and Trade Finance and a Postgraduate diploma in Trade Finance and a postgraduate diploma in Management (Cum Laude). 

RAF FACES MASSIVE CHALLENGES

In South Africa, more than 45 people lose their lives and more than 200 are injured daily on our roads due to road crashes. 

As of 31 March 2020, the RAF liability grew to R324 billion and also had claims to the value of R17.2 billion that had been finalised but could not be paid due to financial cash flow challenges. 

The key driver of this liability has been the increasing number of claims and the high administrative costs. During the 2019/2020 financial year, the Fund registered approximately 102 086 new claims. The 17.2 billion is owed to claimants who have already waited, on average, for five years, to have their claims settled. 

“There are massive challenges that require strong and visionary leadership. The board we appointed in December 2019 wasted no time in tackling the challenges head-on. They prioritised the task of appointing a fit and capable CEO to steer the ship and confront the intractable challenges head-on,” said Mbalula. 

LEGISLATION OF ROAD ACCIDENT BENEFIT SCHEME 

The Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill was introduced in Parliament with the aim of addressing the challenges facing the RAF. Unfortunately, the bill lapsed at the end of the term of the fifth Parliament but was resuscitated in October 2019 and is currently before Parliament. The passage of this bill will establish a sustainable Road Accident Benefit Scheme predicated upon social insurance and capped benefit principles. 

This legislation will not only place the RAF on a stable footing but will also ensure that the intended beneficiaries receive their benefits much quicker.

The line of march for the Board and Letsoalo is clear. The shareholder compact with the Board for 2020/2021 has prioritised delivery on the following strategic outcomes: 

  • Reduction of legal costs; 
  • Review of the RAF operating model which must deliver a shift from litigation to claims administration; and
  • Introduction of an Integrated Claims Management System to complement the new operating model to eliminate inefficiencies and fraud. 

“We have no doubt that both the Board and the CEO will spare no effort in turning around the RAF and placing it on a sustainable footing,” added Mbalula.

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