RAF marks Her­itage Month with Braille book

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - WESTERN CAPE NEWS - NA­DINE FORD-KRITZINGER nadinef@the­newage.co.za

WHILE cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary and trans­for­ma­tive path af­ter a legacy fraught by chal­lenges, The Road Ac­ci­dent Fund (RAF) recog­nises Her­itage Month with the in­tro­duc­tion of a Braille book.

Ac­cord­ing to the fund, the book de­tails the RAF’s claims process and prod­uct of­fer­ings for peo­ple with im­paired vi­sion and marks an­other step for­ward in im­prov­ing the fund’s ac­ces­si­bil­ity to po­ten­tially hun­dreds of car crash vic­tims and their fam­i­lies.

The ini­tia­tive was driven by the RAF cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­part­ment’s lan­guage unit which, among oth­ers, was re­spon­si­ble for trans­lat­ing all of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s doc­u­ments in any of South Africa’s (SA) 11 of­fi­cial lan­guages.

RAF chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, Phumelela Dhlomo, said: “Peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties are among the most ex­cluded in so­ci­ety and their plight is mag­ni­fied when they can­not ac­cess in­for­ma­tion eas­ily.

“As a pub­lic en­tity that pro­vides much needed ser­vices, we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to em­power them so that they can un­der­stand what their rights are in the process of claim­ing.

“What bet­ter time to do this but when South Africa and the fund re­vis­its its her­itage, par­tic­u­larly on the eve of the de­part­ment of trans­port’s Road Ac­ci­dent Ben­e­fit Scheme (Rabs).”

“Rabs is set to rev­o­lu­tionise the third party sys­tem presently ad­min­is­tered by RAF once the bill – which Par­lia­ment has re­ferred to the Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Trans­port – is pro­mul­gated, mean­while, as we evoke the names of our strug­gle he­roes,” she said.

The book, ti­tled First Let­ter of Con­sul­ta­tion in English”, was ap­proved and en­dorsed by the South African Na­tional Coun­cil for the Blind (SANCB).

Ac­cord­ing to Stats SA, the preva­lence of sight dis­abil­ity was the high­est (32%) of all dis­abil­i­ties in the coun­try.

“Let us not for­get what they stood for, par­tic­u­larly as our democ­racy grap­ples with ser­vic­ing the needs of mil­lions in South Africa,” Dhlomo said.

Copies of the Braille book will be dis­trib­uted to all the fund’s five re­gional of­fices lo­cated in Pre­to­ria, Jo­han­nes­burg, East Lon­don, Dur­ban and Cape Town.

Dis­cus­sions were also un­der way with the SANCB to also dis­trib­ute the book through­out their of­fices coun­try­wide.

For more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the claims pro­ce­dure and ser­vices of the RAF, per­sons could con­tact the Call Cen­tre on 0860 23 55 23 from Mon­day to Fri­day, 7.45am to 4pm.

Claimants will be as­sisted in the lan­guage of their choice.

Claimants can also ac­cess in­for­ma­tion about the RAF’s ben­e­fits through its 100 Hos­pi­tal Ser­vice Cen­tres lo­cated na­tion­wide, the full list of which is lo­cated on www.raf.co.za.

Phumelela Dhlomo

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