In reply to a question put to Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, the settlement of claims from motorists whose vehicles were damaged because of poor road conditions amounted to only R567 381 out of R4 048 599 in total claims over the past 3 years. This means that only about one in every eight claims were settled.
Claims amounting to R2 501 164 were repudiated by the Department.
For the 2017/18 year so far there are 39 claims in dispute to the value of R667 060.
Unfortunately, in total and independent of time, there are 322 cases before the courts with claim values of R7 322 952.
While taxpayers’ money must be protected from the few who fraudulently claim for road damages, the vast majority of claims are brought by people who have genuine grounds for damages.
In Gauteng it is common for all but the most obviously indefensible claims to be repudiated which costs the department, and ultimately taxpayers, even more in legal fees when the cases go against the department.
The cost of litigation is often a deterrent to honest claimants who have small claims such as a tyre cut by a pothole, because prosecuting a claim requires time off work and financial resources to engage a lawyer.
A caring party like the DA would strive to open courts where traffic related issues could be speedily resolved without costing a fortune.