Gauteng Roads and Transport scrutinises damage claims

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, reported that the department had won 34 cases valued at R620 000.00 involving motor vehicle claims by motorists who believed that their cars were damaged due to potholes or poor road conditions.

Vadi was responding to a legislature question about the cost to the department of damaged motor vehicle claims due to poor road conditions in the province. At the same time Vadi said that his department paid out over R548 498.00 in settled claims to 32 applicants over the past three years.

With regard to claims against the department for damages sustained to vehicles specifically over the past three years, the legal fees for cases lost amount to R130 983.67.

He stated separately that the department has put in tremendous energy in sorting out potholes and improving the provincial road network.

“The provincial road network has improved substantially as a result of our construction, maintenance and rehabilitation programmes and our regional teams are working daily to repair potholes developing due to the recent heavy rainfall,” he said.

He indicated that motorists do not distinguish between municipal and provincial roads when filing claims with the department, which tends to slow down the process of settling matters. “Claims for motor vehicles damaged on municipal roads must be lodged with the respective municipality,” he said.

At the same time Vadi expressed concern that some motorists were filing opportunistic claims, sometimes using the services of selected legal firms that seem to be specialising in submitting dubious claims to his department.

He warned that the roads department will scrutinise each and every claim before settling the matter, and will contest a doubtful damage claim that is forwarded to it by a motorist or his/her legal representative.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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