Public protector probes RAF over 'maladministration'

Johannesburg - The office of the public protector has confirmed it will be investigating the Road Accident Fund (RAF) for maladministration.

This follows calls by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) to have the RAF investigated for possibly violating the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), by allegedly failing to protect the confidential information of South African citizens.

READ: Numsa wants public protector to investigate RAF

The organisation, which is highly indebted, allegedly had its assets seized. This included computers with information of South African citizens who laid claims, acting spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi explained to Fin24 previously.

“Our members have often been unable to do their work because basic equipment like phones, desks and computers are attached to settle outstanding debts, making it difficult for them to do the work of assisting members of the public with their claims,” said General Secretary Irvin Jim.

“The RAF claims its financial woes are purely as a result of the fact that it is does not receive enough funds from the state. However we believe that the real reason is because of poor management and that is why we want the office of the Public Protector look into the matter to establish the real reasons behind the poor financial management of the agency,” he added.

In March, Numsa members participated in a strike to protest among others poor wages and “chaotic working conditions” at the organisation.

READ: Questions over equal pay for equal work at RAF

The union had previously raised questions over wages at the organisation, particularly over salary scales. Workers were concerned over the transparency of the grading of jobs and the salaries paid.  

“The fact of the matter is, in terms of transparency, the RAF is a state agency. It has a duty to disclose,” said Hlubi.

However, the RAF told Fin24 that the organisation maintains an “effective remuneration framework”. Chief executive Dr Eugene Watson said that the RAF has not been unfair in any implementation of  salary scales and has treated all employees fairly.

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