What is SAPAESA?

SAPAESA is the South African Private Ambulance & Emergency Services Association, a non-profit, member organization that seeks to constantly improve the standards of pre-hospital emergency medical care in South Africa by combining the shared knowledge and resources of our members to uplift the service provision of the industry as a whole.

SAPAESA believes in fair and equal access to the private ambulance market, by all providers who service the market to a high standard and in adherence with current accreditation criteria for private ambulance services.

What we do

SAPAESA encourages all medical aid schemes, insurers and funders in the private healthcare industry to make use of a wide network of designated service providers in order to:

  • improve access to private emergency services to clients;
  • encourage competition and development with the private ambulance industry, and
  • encourage equitable access, without favour or prejudice, to providers in the market who strive to meet, and exceed, the expectations of these funding bodies.

Our History


PAA formed

The Private Ambulance Association (PAA), a Section 21 Company, was formed to provide a unified voice for the private ambulance industry, and build a relationship with the Representative Association of Medical Schemes (RAMS) and its successor the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) in setting standards in an un-regulated industry.



Working document created

A working document on minimum requirements for ambulances redrew the accepted structure of using unregistered EMS personnel, and ensured that all ambulance services had to use registered EMS personnel only. This document was used by a sub-committee of the PAA to formalise the new requirements for registration with RAMS and ultimately gave the private ambulance industry the first, and up until recently, only national regulation of any ambulance service or system. The focus of the PAA remained to build and develop relationships with organizations such as RAMS (now BHF), the Compensation Fund, and to steer the industry in a positive direction.



PEMTA formed

A group of members broke away from the PAA to form the Private Emergency Medical and Transport Association (PEMTA).



PAA and PEMTA merge

The two associations combined to become the South African Private Ambulance and Emergency Services Association, SAPAESA.



PASF formed

A breakaway association, the Private Ambulance Services Forum (PASF) was formed to provide an alternative membership association within the private ambulance industry.



PASF and SAPAESA merge

The PASF and SAPAESA merged, remaining known as SAPAESA but incorporating many of the dynamic and creative ideas from within the PASF.


Board of Directors

Mr Clint Ruggunan
Mr Neil Gargan
Mr Terence Emslie
Mr Dave Gardner
Ms Simphiwe Mamvura
Executive Committee Member
Mr Glen Preston
Executive Committee Member
Mr Graydon Norton
Executive Committee Member


No, SAPAESA only represents private ambulance services that meet our membership criteria and that continue to strive to offer quality, pre-hospital healthcare to members of the South Africa public. Unfortunately SAPAESA is not in a position to offer membership to services that do not meet our membership criteria or who have an ongoing history of problematic service provision within the industry. As such SAPAESA does not represent every private ambulance service within the country but strives to represent every service that has applied for membership, meets the membership criteria and adheres to the SAPAESA code of conduct.

Yes. Just as you would pay your local private doctor, private pharmacy or private hospital for services rendered, you will be expected to pay for the services that you receive from a private ambulance service during a medical emergency. If you are a member of a medical aid scheme, the medical aid scheme in question will often cover the cost of utilization of a private ambulance service where this is justified, however in certain instances the medical aid scheme may decline payment for the utilization of a private ambulance service and in this case the patient will remain liable for the cost of the private ambulance in question.

SAPAESA is registered as a non-profit company. SAPAESA has no shareholders and as such no profit is distributed at the end of the financial year. Where a financial surplus is generated by SAPAESA, these funds are used for the growth and development of the association. This may include employing additional staff members, embarking on new projects and the development of additional member benefits.

No. The private ambulance industry receives no financial assistance from government for the treatment and transportation of indigent patients. A number of private ambulance services across the country are small and medium sized business and the treatment and transportation of patients who do not have the ability to pay for the service puts significant strain on this specific sector of the private healthcare industry.

Our Sponsors

EVC is a Johannesburg-based coach builder specialising in converting vehicles to ambulances and emergency service vehicles. We draw on our team’s operational experience within the ...
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Animo RED is your complete digital solution for South African ambulance services. We are designed for any size services and have clients throughout South Africa. ...
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EMS Medical Claims Administrators is a billings bureau company bolstering a number of private EMS companies, private practicing doctors and two of the largest hospitals ...
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FleetMax Africa (Pty) Ltd is an accredited fleet risk management consultancy that specializes in driver enhancement initiatives to reduce incidents, casualties, downtime and overall fleet ...
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