RAF on The ROAD
Road Accident Fund

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
For many years it was perceived that victims of road accidents could only launch a claim against the Road Accident Fund (RAF) through lawyers. RAF has never been a ‘lawyers only’ business and in addressing the challenge RAF had to break this perception. Finding a way of increasing access to the RAF’s services – especially for the poor - , explaining the advantages of coming directly to the Fund, increased regional visibility and exposure with the objective to cut out the middle-man and ensuring more money in the claimants’ pockets lead to the solution: ‘RAF on the Road’. Driven by the principles of service delivery and excellence, the main objective of ‘RAF on the Road’ is to reach and assist as many claimants countrywide as possible. This required the organisation to not only be at the forefront of service delivery, but also to be visible, accessible at all times and within the reach of all the claimants in far-flung communities. The goal was to re-write the legacy of the RAF and present ourselves to our stakeholders as an ‘Institution of Excellence’ by taking RAF’s service offering to the people. ‘RAF on the Road’ is ultimately about reaching the people who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to reach us. Based on this premise, various poor communities throughout the country are targeted.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
With the implementation of measures to attain maximum operational efficiency, RAF had to change the manner in which it processes claims and the way in which the organisation liaises with claimants. By expanding RAF’s national footprint, the organisation improved accessibility and speed of service delivery to its claimants. What started as a marketing initiative ended up involving the entire organisation – in all its facets. During an ‘RAF on the Road’ campaign, the entire operational infrastructure of the office is replicated and set-up at a venue within the chosen community. The area or community is normally selected based on statistical information obtained regarding accidents within the region of the community. The operational infrastructure that is set up at every ‘RAF on the Road’ involves our IT infrastructure to ensure that the relevant systems will be available during the event with connectivity via 3G. Staff members from Operations (our Regional Offices, Walk-in Centres, Call Centre, Hospital Service Centres and Mobile RAF) are involved, as well as staff from general support services (e.g. Human Resources, Finance, Marketing & Communications, etc.) that will assist during the day. It also brings together almost all the RAF Executives to engage with stakeholders, staff and various other important community members. It has also seen the likes of the Minister and her Deputy and members of the RAF Board attending these events. At each event, RAF also requests the assistance of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to assist with affidavits and accident reports on all claims that are lodged with the RAF. The Department of Home Affairs is also present and provides RAF with details on whether the claimants are still alive, and assists in the printing of birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, etc. The South African Social Security Agency assists in instances where people will ordinarily not have a claim with us. Through this project, RAF not only ensures that the processing of claims are sped up, but RAF staff members also get to see the many faces behind the documents and claims received. For RAF Executives and stakeholders it provides an opportunity to visit some of the homes of the claimants (in that community) to engage with the claimant with the aim of understanding further needs and how the RAF has impacted positively on their lives.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Driven by the principles of service delivery and excellence, the main objective of ‘RAF on the Road’ is to reach and assist as many claimants as possible during one single event. At such an event, the organisation manages to replicate an office set-up in order to assist claimants with all RAF-related issues. This requires the RAF to not only be at the forefront of service delivery, but also to be visible, accessible at all times and within the reach of all the members of the community on the day. All our services are available on the day, ranging from the registration of a claim, queries, validation and verification, settlements, issuing and administration of undertakings (medical certificates), forensic investigations, to complaints management. It has been proven that at any given ‘RAF on the Road’ event, more claimants are assisted on the day than any other normal workday in any of the existing RAF offices.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Example of an Implementation Plan PROJECT PLAN FOR RAF ON THE ROAD PIETERMARITZBURG 22/11/2014 PLANNING ACTION CONTACT DUE DATE PROGRESS STATUS Identification and payment of venue: Convenience in terms of accessibility, neutral for masses Nomkhosi 28/10/2013 Pietermaritzburg City Hall booked & secured at no cost, receiving letter of confirmation 28/10/14. Only need to pay for caretaker's overtime. Done City Hall , floor/set-up plan Thando/Blossom/Padmani 14/11/2013 To be done and submitted 14/11/13 Done Confirm date Nomkhosi 25/10/2013 Date confirmed as the 23rd of November 2013. Communicated with Khathu at HO Done Identification of files Deano / Nompumelelo 25/10/2013 Determination confirmed 55/110 files excluding enquiries Done Settlement of claims: Handlers to contact claimants as per list of files provided and advise them of the RAF DAY. Manual offers to be made on the day. 18/11/2013 All claimants contacted as per list of files received Done Staff transportation from the office to the venue Nomkhosi 25/10/2013 1 x 22 seater- depart on 22/11/2013 to PMB at 15h00 and return to Durban on 23/11/2013 at 19h30. 4 x 22 seater’s depart from Durban on 23/11/2013 at 04h30 and return 19h30 on 23/11/2013. Done Organise staff members Nomkhosi 28/10/2013 Final list received and confirmed Done ACCOMODATION: Accommodation for the set-up team HO to organise & pay for 31/10/2013 Names submitted, PR raised and accommodation secured Done Organise security Mankwana Mmola 29/10/2013 ES done and PR raised Done- supplier appointed Engage SAPS in the area and sensitise them of the need for visible policing if not possible to station some at the venue Mankwana Mmola 31/10/2013 The SAPS has been angaged, planning is ongoing. Security plan to be submitted Friday 15/11/2013 Done Organise ambulance and staff to assist on the day Nonhlanhla Khubone 29/10/2013 Submit ES and raise PR. Done- supplier appointed Stakeholder relations to plan and implement a CSI project during the event Stakeholder Relations HO 04/11/2013 2 schools being identified by Msunduzi Municipality. Giving away school shoes, reflective vest and caps Done Transport for equipment Thokozani Mhlongo 04/11/2013 Use of RAF pool cars Done Catering for 100 staff 70 (tbc) for stakeholders • Breakfast • Lunch Afternoon tea HO to organise 31/10/2013 ES done and PR raised. Supplier selction in progress Done Fruit and water Nomkhosi/Thabsile 28/10/2013 ES done and PR raised Done- supplier appointed IT: • 20 plus thin clients, extra laptops with the managers as back-up • 5 Laptops • 2 Printer (request for 3 printers. Tbc) • Photocopying machine • Cabling for router • Projector, Screen Malibongwe 14/10/2013 Computing equipment is available and Networking testing was complete successfully. To organize projector and screen Done • Microphone/Speaker Thokozani Mhlongo 20/11/2013 To organize microphone/speake Done Organise list of stationery to the branch: • Information Starter packs • All necessary forms • Envelopes • Paper for printer • Staplers & Staples • Stationery • Pens • Other necessary stationery Padmani and Thabsile 18/11/2013 Send a request for this to be done 13/11/2013 Done MATERIAL • Need to Know pamphlets/POP/Undertakings pamphlets / Registration forms Charity 14/11/2013 Undertakings pamphlets have been received from HO. Reg forms being sorted by originations. Done DIRECTIONAL SIGNAGE: To be printed and laminated – Size A3 Charity 14/11/2013 Have these in storage Done Investigate the possibility of home visits Masakhane 11/10/2013 Select 1 home. Awaiting report Done Road Safety to develop an activation plan Agnes,Thabo 14/11/2013 1. Road block with the traffic department on the 20th November 2013 (location to be communicated at a later stage). Done 2.Taxi rank awareness campaign at a taxi rank that will be identified for us by SANTACO and be communicated to you at a later stage as well. They have requested branding: gazebos, tear drops, table and table cloths, need to know pamphlets and officials who will assist on the day. To provide 2 call centre agents to assist on the day Bandile 18/11/2013 Done Done Procurement of all requested services: Phakamani/Nwabisa at branch level & HO Amelia 11/11/2013 To have procured transport, pamphlets, posters, fruits/water, Done No aircorns inside the hall, so we will bring fans Zamandla/Mankwana/Thokozani 18/11/2013 Zama to request fans from each floor, to take on the 18th of Nov 2013. Done List of staff coming from HO Khathu 18/11/2013 To provide us with a list from Marketing, PR & Media, etc & tasks /responsibilities on the day. Done Pinky 18/11/2013 To provide us with a list from Stakeholder Relations, etc. & tasks /responsibilities on the day. Done Malibongwe 18/11/2013 To request the list from IT & tasks/ responsibilities on the day Done BRANDING BRANDING: 16 X Teardrops, 10 X pull-ups, 6 X sided Banners, 2X Media Banners, 30 X RAF Table Cloths, 30 Table Cloths, Laminated directional signage A4/A3, Gazebo / Umbrellas, 4 Boxes of Z cards, Colour coded stickers, pamphlets and possibly street pole posters. Nomkhosi & Benny 04/10/2013 300 X street posters and 25000 pamphlets delivered. HO as done ES and PR raised for tables, chairs, and table clothes. Supplier selection in progress Done COMMUNITY MOBILISATION: Event notification pamphlets to be distributed to neighbouring areas, malls, SAPS & other public areas. Posters will be placed in public places and malls. Branch Mobilisation team 15/11/2013 Community mobilisation to start Saturday 19, 26 Oct the also 02, 9 & 15 Nov 2013 Done UNIFORM: All staff to be dressed in their RAF T-shirts or reflective vests Nomkhosi 18/11/2013 All those staff members who did not return the reflective vests, to bring them back prior the event to ensure we have enough especially for security staff and ushers. Managers to please make this notification to their respective departments by the 31st of October. Done MOBILISATION STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT To engage the office of the Minister of Transport and send invitation to the Minister to attend the event on the day. Stakeholder Relations HO 28/10/2013 Stakeholder Relations to mobilize the DOT, Minister of Transport. Done To engage the Major of Msunduzi Municipality and His councillors about the event, to get their full support and to mobilize their wards. Nomkhosi, Kwanele and Bassy 28/10/2013 Meeting with Msunduzi Municipality today 6/11/2013. Task Team meeting took place on 11/11/2013 with RAF, Msunduzi Team, DOT, SANTACO, Traffic Dpt, to count a few stakeholders Done To engage SANTACO KZN, so they can play a big part in supporting the team during mobilisations Nomkhosi, Kwanele and Bassy 28/10/2013 Meeting with SANTACO regional office today 06/11/13 Done Stakeholder relations to plan and implement a CSI project during the event Nomkhosi, Kwanele and Bassy 04/11/2013 Engage with HO tomorrow 28/10/2013 Done Invitation: Send invitations to all the KZN Provincial stakeholders Stakeholder Relations HO 08/11/2013 Formal invitations to be issued two weeks before the event. Done Programme for the project: Draft programme for the whole duration of the project Stakeholder Relations HO 08/11/2013 To finalise 2 weeks before the event Done Stakeholder engagement programme: Draft programme for the stakeholder engagement Stakeholder Relations HO 08/11/2013 To finalise 2 weeks before the event Done MEDIA RELATIONS Develop programme of engaging the media. Sello 15/11/2013 Sello to send copy to Nomkhosi. Media Statement to be issued on 15th of November 2013 Done RADIO: HO paying for Ukhozi FM and iGagasi FM. There will also be OB on the day. Contact has been made for free publicity with KZN Capital 104FM and Radio Pietermaritzburg. TV: 1KZN TV - contact has been made, currently in discussions. NEWSPAPERS: Contact has been made with Capital Newspapers, who have agreed to publish in their stable of newspapers, to name a few: Edendale Eyethu, Maritzburg Echo, etc. To give them Media statement on 14.11.14

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative was wholly organised by the Marketing & Communications Department of the RAF. As time went by, we obtained buy-in from other stakeholders such as the South African Police Service, the Department of Home Affairs, South African Social Security Agency and other government entities who wished to showcase their services at our events. As large settlements are often made to claimants, the RAF has arranged for the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) to be at these events to provide advice to the claimants on how to utilise the monies paid to them. The Department of Health has also recently joined us and does various checks on the day, such as HIV, blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, etc.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project is fully funded by the RAF. During March 2014, the RAF hosted an event called ‘4 Cities RAF on the Road’ where we hosted 4 events on the same day in different regions. Costs for the ‘4 Cities’ event are captured below: Activities Giyani Alexandra Port Elizabeth Cape Town Total Morning Live TV 550 000,00 Radio Outside Broadcasts 480 000,00 Daily Sun Newspaper 83 549,23 Alex Pioneer Newspaper 9 570,97 Eastern Cape Today 11 689,20 Izindaba Newspaper 10 927,62 Umhlobo Wenene Radio 137 172,00 Thobela FM Radio 88 147,50 Munghana Radio 34 707,00 Phalaphala Radio 54 096,00 Radio 2000 Radio 37 881,00 TV adverts 912 000,00 Trucks 68 500,00 395 000,00 186 219,00 649 719,00 Posters & Flyers 40 500,00 23 940,00 19 414,46 26 494,62 110 349,08 Staff Accommodation 108 962,00 127 980,00 236 942,00 Staff Catering 65 770,00 59 733,00 41 550,00 56 270,97 223 323,97 Photographer 31 920,00 14 500,00 29 859,00 8 800,00 85 079,00 Executive Toilets 22 500,00 3 976,00 5 094,43 31 570,43 Stakeholder Catering 82 960,00 38 851,43 43 980,00 34 320,00 200 111,43 Bus 60 000,00 26 100,00 66 550,00 24 738,00 177 388,00 Marquee 15 000,00 15 960,00 30 960,00 Total 473 612,00 580 624,43 333 309,46 357 897,02 4 155 183,43 We assisted 5,872 claimants on the day and settled claims to the value of R152.4 million.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
• Taking our services to the doorsteps of communities who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to interact with the RAF; • Promoting direct claims; • Increasing positive publicity; • Assisting with the lodgement and resolution of complaints; • Identifying fraudulent claims; • Exposing our stakeholders to the RAF’s post-crash rehabilitation initiatives through our Patient Outreach Programme; • Contributing to local economies; and • Showing all RAF employees that the Fund’s business is not merely about administration, but about rendering services to victims of car crashes who need support.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
• The event is first captured in the form of a project/implementation plan. • A Local Organising Committee is selected from the specific region where the events will take place. • The Promotions and Activations unit within the Marketing Department ultimately has an oversight role to play. During these meetings, issues such as mobilisation, media engagements and advertisements are discussed. • The Stakeholder Relations Management (SRM) unit is involved to identify and invite relevant stakeholders in the community, which has been targeted. • The SRM unit advises on protocol arrangements for the day. • A post-event analysis report is compiled after the event and outlines the positives and negatives of the day. • A debriefing session is also held twice: Once within the Marketing & Communications Department and again with the regional representatives of the area where the event took place.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
• During the first few events, setting up (IT services, tables and chairs, etc.) of the hall where the event was to be hosted posed some challenges. Having the team arrive on the day of the event made it virtually impossible to have everything set up in time. This was overcome by ensuring that the IT team arrives one day prior to the event to set up all IT systems and have them for the event. • Having knowledgeable people to assist with claims and to guide claimants to the correct service areas were important. This was addressed by identifying the right staff to man the areas of their expertise. • Language played an important role and this was a challenge that needed a quick solution. We addressed this by placing employees who understood the language and culture of the different areas at the events. • Branding and awareness amongst communities also posed challenges. By liaising with local civic institutions, community leaders, ward councillors, traffic and law enforcement and tribal authorities, this eased our task of gaining entrance into communities. Posters and banners could be erected next to the roads indicating where the event would be held. • Registrations were also done manually and our IT Department has now devised a scanning device to scan ID documents and capture correct data and numbering in the queuing system.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
1. Consultation RAF ensures that our stakeholders are informed of the upcoming events long before the event takes place. The stakeholders include the local Transport departments, ward councillors, MECs, schools, mayors, local taxi associations, etc. Because of the organisation’s relationship with the communities it eases the task of obtaining the communities’ buy-in and to secure proper venues for these events. 2. Service Standards ‘RAF on the Road’ has most certainly taken our service delivery to the highest level and this has been maintained. With every event hosted, the numbers increase – both in claimants assisted and amounts settled. In our strive towards service excellence, feedback was obtained from claimants and accident victims by independent consultants and it showed that RAF is seen as: • an institution that cares, • an institution that comes to you, no matter how far you are, • an institution that puts your needs first, • an institution that, once you have entered their premises, will take their car and assist you in collecting the outstanding documents, which once received, the claim is settled on the spot. 3. Access With each ‘RAF on the Road’, the ultimate aim is to take our service offering to the people, thus availing greater access for far-flung communities. Access to RAF services is critical because poor rural communities are faced with numerous challenges in accessing the RAF services located in cities and towns countrywide; hence, the RAF decided to take its services to the people. 4. Courtesy When ‘RAF on the Road’ is taken to communities, we ensure that we have all the necessary resources available on the day. Understanding that queues can get long during these events, we have gone to the extent of offering claimants fruit and food parcels and water as well as bringing mobile clinics and emergency personnel on standby in case they are needed. During ‘RAF on the Road’ events, our Corporate Social Investment (CSI) unit identifies schools within the community that are in need. These schools are visited and invited to the day where the RAF team will hand them donations ranging from shoes to school bags and stationery. Scholar patrols are also handed caps and reflective jackets to wear when on duty, ensuring the children learn about road safety from an early age. 5. Access to Information The claimants are entitled to any information that they may require on the day and proper care is taken by the staff present to explain the RAF’s services. Booklets, pamphlets, etc. that are printed in all 11 official languages are handed out. In addition, claimants are assisted in completing the form required to obtain access to their information in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. Where possible, the information sought is given to them at the event. 6. Openness and Transparency At the ‘RAF on the Road’ events, care is taken to explain to the claimants how certain amounts are arrived at, especially with regard to General Damages, Loss of Support and Loss of Earnings claims. The annually updated Quantum Yearbook is used as a guideline to do the calculations. The Quantum Yearbook incorporates recent and comparable case laws based on court decisions or judgements. For Funeral Expense claims, claimants are offered the necessary expenses to bury their deceased, i.e. coffin, mortuary and graveyard costs. This is also explained when claimants submit their claims to the RAF. 7. Redress Another service offered at ‘RAF on the Road’ is the Complaints Unit. This unit deals with complaints of the community in terms of any dissatisfaction with the conduct of the RAF. These complaints are recorded, investigated by the Complaints Unit and feedback given to the complainants. 8. Value for Money RAF, as a state-owned entity, is not about making money, but instead about spending it for the better good of our communities.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
This initiative has not been replicated or duplicated by any other government entity in South Africa. It has been hailed by high-ranking government officials as “a prime example of taking public services to the people” and has been nominated for more than one award. Since its inception, the RAF has taken ‘RAF on the Road’ to 44 communities countrywide, assisted more than 26,000 claimants and settled more than R500 million worth of claims. These figures alone prove that it is a sustainable initiative, and more so from a social and economic perspective. The premise of this initiative is to bring the RAF’s service offering to the poorest of the poor communities in the country. These communities are all affected by road accidents, but either don’t know about the RAF or don’t have the financial means to reach an RAF office in cities or towns. This community outreach campaign avails the opportunity of getting to know the RAF, lodging claims, enquiring about existing claims, and even having their claims settled on the day. However, what happens prior to the event, lays the foundation for those events that still need to happen (to be planned for the future). Therefore, to ensure the ongoing implementation or sustainability of the ‘RAF on the Road’ campaign, the project team focuses on four aspects – setting objectives, doing proper planning and research and ensuring that the events are evaluated on an on-going basis. In setting objectives, the team identifies specific objectives which they want to achieve on the day. These mainly refer to the number of files/cases that was identified prior to the event which they aim to settle on the day. It also relates to the stakeholder relationships and engagements that are planned for and during the event, who will be involved (SAPS, SASSA, etc.) and what is expected of them. Further to this, the team constantly measures the objectives set for the day by calculating the number of claimants seen versus the claims settled on the day. This is done throughout the day. The research and planning prior to the project involves following a project management approach to ensure that the right partners are involved and that stakeholders are informed and engaged with at the right time and place. It also involves making sure that the necessary budget is available, and that staff resources and overall RAF infrastructure can be mobilised for the day. After having implemented about 40 ‘RAF on the Road’ community outreach campaigns, the team has defined processes in place to support them in planning each and every event. It also makes it much easier for the team to replicate previous efforts and to upscale the next events. After every event, the project team gets together and reviews (evaluates) the project, since feedback determines how future projects will be conducted. The impact of the project is also discussed at these debriefing sessions. Apart from evaluating the overall project and the achievement of the set objectives, the staff that assisted on the day gets an opportunity to share their experiences and lessons learned. These are captured by the project team and used as input when planning the next event. The evaluation conducted is threefold: process, outcome and impact. These speak to the following aspects: • The activities and project quality are measured; • The outcome is used to measure the immediate effects of ‘RAF on the Road’ projects amongst the community members, stakeholders and partners, as well as the fact that it indicates whether objectives have been achieved for the day; and • The impact that ‘RAF on the Road’ has once the RAF has left the community and how it can be measured.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
In no more than 500 words, describe your overall experience with the initiative, the lessons learned and any recommendations for the future. • One of the first lessons learned was to set up the IT infrastructure the evening before the event. • Over and above advertisements on local radio stations and notifications in the local newspapers, mobilisation, branding and marketing prior to the event ensure that more people are attracted and made aware of the RAF and the event that will take place. • Proper seating is required as queues can get long and waiting periods longer. Especially for the elderly, it was noted that refreshments (such as water) should be supplied as some days might be hot and exhausting. • Automated registration (versus manual registration) might ease the task of the RAF team and speed up the processes on the day. • Language is an important factor to take into consideration – especially when going to deep rural areas. Staff members attending need to be able to assist claimants and accident victims in the language spoken within the area. Branding and awareness creation of the event (at least two weeks prior to the event up until the day of the event) are critical. RAF wants to attract as many people as possible to the event to ensure that everyone who needs assistance is attended to. • Debriefing sessions for staff who deals with case files containing disturbing images of accident scenes, etc. now happens after each event and forms part of the RAF Employee Wellness Service.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Road Accident Fund
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Hein Spingies
Title:   Centre of Excellence  
Telephone/ Fax:   +27126211777
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   hein@raf.co.za  
Address:   Private bag x 178
Postal Code:   0046
City:   Centurion
State/Province:   Gauteng
Country:  

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