A Pretoria law firm is to launch an application at the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to overturn a practice directive that it believes is contributing to a mounting backlog of cases and the risk of enormous administrative costs, reports TimesLIVE.

Gert Nel attorneys, which manages thousands of road accident victim cases in an attempt to resolve appropriate settlements in court, as opposed to direct settlements claimed through the Road Accident Fund (RAF), argues that the directive is overly laborious and will result in a backlog of about 6 000 cases continuing to pile up.

The directive affects personal injury cases.

'(Our firm) intends to file an application to have the so-called 'Practice Directive 2', which came into effect on the 8 July 2019, declared null and void,' said attorney Gert Nel.

'If only 50% of these matters are subjected to the administration required to comply with Practice Directive 2, the additional cost implication to the RAF and ultimately the South African taxpayer will be an astounding R75m,' he said.

The directive was put in place to manage the case flows in court by issuing 'trial readiness certificates' before matters are heard, but Nel believes the directive will achieve the opposite.

'The high bar introduced by 'Practice Directive 2' to achieve trial readiness, is more likely to keep matters from being enrolled for trial, rather than enrolment being speeded up, and brings about an enormous increase in costs, on average R 50 000 per matter, and in this regard achieves exactly the opposite of the end it ought to have been designed for,' he said.

Full TimesLIVE report