Is there a better & cheaper way than fighting? – Kenny Smith

In South Africa there are various dispute resolution processes. When many people hear these words, they switch off and stop listening because they think it’s all too complicated. Don’t switch off yet as we would like to simplify this for you.

In this article we will touch on one of the ways one may resolve a dispute, namely mediation. Mediation is a voluntary meeting wherein two or more parties attend to try and settle their disputes.

The mediation is run by a mediator who will attempt to identify the key issues in the dispute with the intention of finding a solution that benefits all parties concerned.

One advantage of mediation is that it is generally a lot cheaper that litigating in court. The parties are generally jointly liable for the mediator’s fees which are outlined in the mediation agreement.

A lot of contracts these days are including a clause that compels parties to attempt mediation prior to approaching court. The idea behind this is too have the dispute aired and negotiated in front of an independent mediator so as to come to a speedy compromise with as little cost as possible.

Literally any matter may be mediated from divorces to commercial matters to disputes regarding property transactions… the sky is the limit.

Please make sure that if you are going to attend mediation that your mediator is duly qualified because an unqualified mediator may unsettle the matter further.

Should the parties attend at mediation and reach a dead lock, the mediator must then send them onto the next process which is generally arbitration or court.

The government believe that mediation is such an advantage that they have introduced and are busy applying “court-annexed mediation” which basically means that the courts are referring matters to try and have them mediated prior to trial.

To conclude, should you have a matter or dispute that you feel may be settled without fighting, try and invite the other party to mediate the matter rather that fight about it. As qualified mediators we at Tuckers Inc have seen many a matter resolved without having to air the proverbial dirty laundry.

For more information on this topic you are welcome to contact our offices on or 011 897 1900.

Article contributed by Kenny Smith of Tuckers Inc.