National Council for and of Persons with Disabilities and the Law Society of South Africa v Minister of Transport, Road Accident Fund and Another (GJ) (case no 039100/2022) (Opperman J)

This statement is released as a follow-up to the prior media statements issued by Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) on 21 December 2022 and 6 March 2023 in respect of the above High Court application.

This media statement is intended to update the public on the current status of the litigation challenging the medical tariffs promulgated last year relating to victims of road accidents who claim compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).


On 19 August 2022, the Minister of Transport promulgated medical tariffs in terms of which the RAF would pay much less than the actual costs incurred, leaving accident victims out of pocket and with no other remedy. These tariffs also do not cover certain critical services, such as air ambulances by helicopter, which places road accident victims at serious risk. The new tariffs are a departure from the existing tariffs as they offer far less.

The LSSA and the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), in the interest of public, are challenging the constitutionality of these tariffs on the basis that they are irrational, unreasonable and unjustifiably limits the rights of access to healthcare.

In December 2022, the Judge Tolmay granted an interim interdict suspending the operation of the tariffs, until such time as the application for judicial review of the tariffs has been concluded.

In our prior media statement, we advised that Judge Tolmay granted a punitive costs order against the RAF on account of the ‘contemptuous’ manner in which it opposed the interdict proceedings. Judge Tolmay invited the RAF’s CEO and Chairperson of the RAF’s Board to file affidavits explaining why they should not be held personally liable to pay for the costs of the interdict application.

The RAF applied to Judge Tolmay for leave to appeal her order, which application was refused.

The RAF has since applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal which is yet to determine this application. The interdict obtained by the LSSA and the NCPD remains binding in the interim.

The main review proceedings brought to set aside the impugned medical tariffs were initially set down to be heard in May 2023.

However, the RAF failed to produce documents which throw light on the decision-making process and the factors that were at play in the mind of the Minister of Transport when approving the decision to promulgate the impugned medical tariffs. The Minister claimed that these documents were not in his possession and had to be sought from the RAF which, in turn, refused their disclosure.

The LSSA and NCPD, therefore, had to pursue the production of these documents by way of an interlocutory application.

In the build-up to the hearing of this interlocutory application, Judge Opperman issued directives ordering the RAF to file papers explaining their recalcitrance. The RAF persisted in its refusal.

After hearing argument in the interlocutory application on 11 May 2023, Judge Opperman granted an order on 18 May 2023 directing the RAF to produce the documents within five days, on the basis that the documents are relevant to explain the decision-making process by the Minister of Transport to approve the impugned medical tariffs.

Judge Opperman expressed her displeasure with the RAF’s conduct as ‘… not only discourteous and unprofessional, but also the very opposite of rule-abiding’. Just like Judge Tolmay did in the interdict proceedings heard in December 2022, Judge Opperman granted a punitive costs order against the RAF and, furthermore, encouraged the CEO and Board Chairperson of the RAF to file affidavits to explain why they should not each be held personally liable to pay the costs of the interlocutory application and/or be joined personally to these proceedings for this purpose.

The LSSA is pleased with the judgment and orders granted by Judge Opperman on 18 May 2023 and awaits production of the documents by the RAF in order to progress the review proceedings to finality.

It is important to note that the impugned medical tariffs remain suspended in terms of the binding interdict obtained by the LSSA and NCPD until such time as the review proceedings have been concluded.


Ms Eunice Masipa

LSSA Communications Manager: Mapula Oliphant

Tel:      (012) 366 8808

Cell:     076 026 5997