The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA), said last week that new changes in the fund’s Act calling for restoring all road victims to their normal state of life are ‘revolutionary” and places Botswana ahead of other African countries as an icon in taking care of road victims.
“These developments are welcome and show that we have shifted from compensation based on fault basis to no fault at all. We are ahead of Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland which are still using a faulty basis,” the chief executive officer of the MVA, Cross Kgosidile, said Friday.
The new developments, which were driven by Kgosidiile since his appointment some two years ago, were approved by parliament in a bid to try to cater for all road accident victims in the country.
Under the new arrangement road accident victims will receive full medical support from the fund until they have fully recovered and in the unfortunate state where the victims has died the next of kin can claim up to P 1,000 000 in compensation.
“The benefits under the new legislative powers covers everybody irrespective of whether you were at fault or not,” Kgosidiile said.
Furthermore, the new legislative improvement extends cover to all government vehicles for the first time in the history of the country. The move is expected to have both positive and negative impact on one of the southern Africa accident funds, valued at P 1.6 billion which is the envy of a number of regional countries.
Most of the regional countries have their accident funds in a state of deficit including the regional power-house South Africa.
“The inclusion of government vehicles will result in an increase in our revenue because they will also be paying fuel levy but administratively that means we will be handling larger volumes of claims,” he added.
The move comes at a time when the number of accidents reported last stood at 17,035 – a slide of 2.8 percent compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. However, during the same period, the fund recorded a surplus of P 119 million from P 135 million in the previous year. The reduction is largely blamed on reduction in the net fuel levy income and investment income. Though the fund has reported a reduction in levy income, it said it is not prepared to increase the fuel levy in the next coming two years. Currently the levy stands at 9.5 thebe per liter the lowest in the region with other countries charging as much as 14 thebe per liter.