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Workers: Conditions at RAF have become unbearable

Workers at the Road Accident Fund (RAF) say conditions at the company have become unbearable. 

Road Accident Fund

RAF employees, who are members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), have been on strike since Thursday.

The union's members are unhappy over what they say is widespread mismanagement at the RAF, which has saddled the company with debt of more than R8 million. 

Two RAF employees, who wished to remain anonymous, have now decided to speak out. 

The employees say the conditions at the RAF have worsened significantly, since Project Siyenza came to an end. 

The project, which started in 2013, was meant to help the RAF administer claims and clear the existing backlog. 

But the workers says Project Siyenza did not manage to achieve its goals, and they are now paying the price.  

"On a daily basis I handle between 700 and 1000 files, and more in other regions. At the end of the day, I am expected to settle as many files as possible. The file count again will increase because Project Siyenza was a dismal failure," the one workers says. 

The workers say the RAF is now pushing them to settle as many claims as possible - leaving them completely overwhelmed. 

"We are currently being rushed to settle these claims, which have been sitting with outside service providers who failed to finalise them. We are now expected to deal with prescriptions due to the time that has passed without the claims being completed," says the other worker. 

The workers say along with a wage increase, they also want the company to be more transparent. 

"We want to work with a transparent management. For example, we would like to know how Project Siyenza came about and why it was stopped without the claims being completed and how much money was spent, " he says.

The RAF has refused to respond to the claims and referred Jacaranda FM News to a statement released last week. 

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi says the union will approach the Public Protector to investigate.  

"We will be asking the Public Protector to investigate whether the fund has violated the Protection of Personal Information Act as the consequence of the ineptitude of management," says Hlubi. 

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