Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, which along with mediation and conciliation, offers an alternative to court procedures. The parties essentially agree to have a dispute submitted to an independent arbitrator(s) who will make a binding decision on the parties’ behalf.

The Arbitration Act 42 of 1965 regulates arbitration in South Africa.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a voluntary process which can only be brought about by written agreement between parties in respect of future or existing disputes. It is also a private process, which therefore ensures confidentiality of disclosures and the eventual award, unless otherwise agreed upon between the parties. The parties can choose the arbitrator(s) or alternatively have an association such as the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa appoint the arbitrator(s) on their behalf.

Benefits of arbitration

Arbitration may provide for a cost-effective alternative to court litigation, whereby parties can choose their own qualified arbitrator, as well as the date and venue of the process. The arbitration process is usually also concluded in a more time effective manner.

Arbitration award is legally binding

The award of the arbitration, as set out by the arbitrator, is final and binding, which means that all parties concerned are bound by and will have to comply with such award, which will be made in writing.

In order to enforce the award, it may be made an order of court. Non-compliance may therefore result in a party being in contempt of court.

Contact our expert Litigation and Dispute Resolution department for assistance with any alternate dispute resolutions such as arbitration or mediation or for all aspects of litigation across various forums including the High Court, Magistrate’s Court and Labour Court.

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The articles on these web pages are provided for general information purposes only. Whilst care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the content provided is not intended to stand alone as legal advice. Always consult a suitably qualified attorney on any specific legal problem or matter.