Comprehensive Guide to the Road Accident Fund (RAF) in South Africa

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is a state-supported insurance fund designed to provide compensation for road accident victims in South Africa. This guide provides detailed information on how the RAF operates, who qualifies for compensation, how to file a claim, and other essential aspects.

1. Overview of the Road Accident Fund (RAF)

Mission and Vision:

  • Mission: To provide appropriate cover to all road users within the borders of South Africa, rehabilitate and compensate persons injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents in a timely and caring manner, and actively promote safe use of South African roads.
  • Vision: To provide quality service and equitable compensation for all road users.


  • The RAF compensates for injury or death caused by motor vehicle accidents within South Africa.

2. Who Can Claim from the RAF?


  • Injured Parties: Individuals injured in a road accident, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
  • Dependents of Deceased: Family members who were financially dependent on a person who died in a road accident.

Not Covered:

  • Drivers who were solely responsible for the accident cannot claim for their own injuries but may be eligible for other expenses such as medical costs and loss of income.

3. Types of Compensation

Medical Expenses:

  • Covers all reasonable past and future medical costs related to injuries sustained in the accident.

Loss of Earnings:

  • Compensation for loss of income due to inability to work, calculated from the date of the accident.

Loss of Support:

  • Compensation to dependents of a deceased person who provided financial support.

General Damages:

  • Compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of amenities of life, applicable only in cases of serious injury.

Funeral Expenses:

  • Covers reasonable costs associated with the funeral of a deceased accident victim.

4. How to File a Claim with the RAF

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Report the Accident:
  • Report the accident to the police immediately and obtain a case number.
  1. Collect Information:
  • Gather all relevant information such as accident details, police reports, medical records, and receipts for medical expenses.
  1. Complete RAF Forms:
  • RAF 1 Form: For injury or death claims.
  • RAF 3 Form: Serious injury assessment form, completed by a medical professional.
  1. Submit the Claim:
  • Submit the completed forms and supporting documents to the RAF. This can be done directly or through a legal representative.
  1. Claim Assessment:
  • The RAF will assess the claim, which may involve further medical examinations or investigations.
  1. Compensation Offer:
  • The RAF will make an offer of compensation based on their assessment. If accepted, the claim is settled. If not, it may proceed to litigation.

Submission Methods:

  • Claims can be submitted in person at RAF offices, by mail, or through the RAF’s online portal.

5. Required Documents for RAF Claims

Essential Documentation:

  • Accident report and case number
  • Medical records and reports
  • Proof of expenses (medical bills, receipts)
  • Identity documents (ID, driver’s license)
  • Proof of income (pay slips, tax returns)
  • Death certificate (in case of fatal accidents)
  • Proof of dependency (for loss of support claims)

6. Checking the Status of an RAF Claim

Online Status Check:

  • Visit the RAF website and log in to the claims portal with your claim reference number.

Customer Service:

  • Call the RAF customer service helpline for updates on your claim status.

Contacting Your Legal Representative:

  • If you have engaged a lawyer, they can provide updates and follow up on your claim status.

7. RAF Contact Information

Head Office:

  • Address: 420 Witch-Hazel Avenue, Eco Glades 2, Centurion, Pretoria, 0157, South Africa
  • Phone: +27 12 621 1600
  • Fax: +27 12 621 1660

Customer Care:

  • Toll-Free Number: 0860 23 55 23
  • Email:

Regional Offices:

  • Johannesburg: +27 11 877 6000
  • Cape Town: +27 21 529 7000
  • Durban: +27 31 366 7600
  • Bloemfontein: +27 51 505 4200


8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the time limit for filing an RAF claim?

  • Prescribed Period: Generally, claims must be submitted within three years from the date of the accident. For hit-and-run cases, the period is two years.

2. Do I need a lawyer to file an RAF claim?

  • Not Mandatory: While it is not mandatory to hire a lawyer, legal assistance can be beneficial in navigating the complexities of the claim process.

3. Can I claim for minor injuries?

  • Threshold Requirement: Compensation for general damages (pain and suffering) is only available for serious injuries as defined by the RAF Act.

4. How long does it take to settle a claim?

  • Varies: The settlement period can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of complete documentation.

5. What if my claim is rejected?

  • Appeal Process: If a claim is rejected, you have the right to appeal the decision through the RAF’s internal processes or through legal action.


The Road Accident Fund (RAF) plays a crucial role in providing financial support to road accident victims in South Africa. Understanding the claim process, eligibility criteria, and necessary documentation can significantly enhance the efficiency of your claim. For the latest information and personalized assistance, always refer to the official RAF website or contact their customer service.