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Postnet Suite 226, Private Bag x9307, Polokwane, 0700 ∘ mediation@sjapro.co.za ∘ +27 (0) 76 079 0214

Mediation

What is mediation?

As a result of the publication of the Amendment of Rules Regulating the Conduct of the Proceedings of the Magistrates' Courts of South Africa in the Government Gazette of March 2014 mediation is now considered integral to the South African legal system and is a process that can save parties in dispute both time and money, while at the same time preserving, rebuilding or modifying important relationships.

Broadly speaking, mediation is a voluntary, informal and flexible process in which an independent third party – the mediator – assists parties in dispute to reach a settlement. The resolution of the dispute or conflict is in the hands of the disputing parties, rather than the parties relying on the decision of a third party, for example an arbitrator, magistrate or judge. It is important to note that the mediation process is both confidential and without prejudice – meaning that the content and outcome of the process cannot be discussed outside of the mediation meeting. Any disclosures made during the meeting cannot be used by the parties in future legal action should the mediation fail. Furthermore, the mediator cannot be called as a witness in any legal process that may arise should the mediation fail to resolve the conflict or dispute.

Call Anastasia on 076 079 0214 or send an email to anastasia@sjapro.co.za to schedule a FREE 30 minute information session to learn more about the process.

Alternatively you can complete the Request for More Information Form by clicking on the More Information tab at the top of this page.

Civil and Commercial Mediation

Civil and Commercial Mediation is mediation that takes place in the civil and commercial spheres. Disputes between businesses, between business partners and between contractors and subcontractors are typically resolved during civil mediation. Civil mediation involves the resolution of disputes between neighbours, with body corporates or between civic organisations and the people they have authority over - municipalities and people who live in the municipality, for example.

In civil and commercial mediation a great deal of effort is made to try and preseve relationships, where possible, and even to increase the value proposition, where the agreement reached actually improves the nature of the relationship to the benefit of all concerned.

There are two schools of thought regarding the substantive knowledge of the mediator when dealing with a dispute in a particular field. Some believe that it is important for the mediator to have a good understanding of the particular sphere within which the dispute has arisen. At SJA we believe that the skills and competence of the mediator are of prime importance and that the parties themselves are the substantive knowledge experts and that the participation of substantive knowledge experts belongs in arbitration rather than in mediation. However, the services of a substantive knowledge expert can be acquired should the mediator feel that the participation of such an individual will assist the process and lead to resolution of the dispute.

Call Anastasia on 076 079 0214 or send an email to anastasia@sjapro.co.za to schedule a FREE 30 minute information session to learn more about the process.

Alternatively you can complete the Request for More Information Form by clicking on the More Information tab at the top of this page.

Divorce and Family Mediation

Divorce and Family Mediation takes place in the shadow of the law - which means that divorce and family mediators must be legally trained in the field of family law in order to conduct divorce and family mediations. Any agreement reached in a divorce and family dispute must conform to legal requirements and must, if there are children involved, be seen to be in the best interests of those children.

Divorce and Family Mediation typically involves divorces and disputes about the care and contact of children. In South African law, both parents have, and can exercise, equal responsibilities and rights with respect to the upbringing of their children. While the way in which these responsibilities and rights are exercised can lead to conflict, it is important for parents to realise that the exercise of these responsibilities and rights is done so in the best interests of the children and that they, as parents, need to develop the sort of relationship that gives their children the best chance to develop into well-adjusted adults. At SJA we focus the attention of the parties on the need to develop such a relationship.

Divorce and Family Mediation can also be employed to resolve disputes about maintenance of children, care of and contact with children and, in fact, care of parents and siblings.

Call Anastasia on 076 079 0214 or send an email to anastasia@sjapro.co.za to schedule a FREE 30 minute information session to learn more about the process.

Alternatively you can complete the Request for More Information Form by clicking on the More Information tab at the top of this page.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law is a mediation process in which couples who have decided to divorce work with a mediator and their lawyers to negotiate a settlement that best meets their needs and the needs of their children. The parties agree on the appointment of other family professionals - such as psychologists and even financial planners - to advise and assist with the decision-making process.

The parties and their lawyers must sign a mediation participation agreement which commits them to the mediation process and which disqualifies their lawyers from representing them in court should the negotiation break down for any reason.

SJA has extensive experience in the field of mediation and our mediators are willing to work with attornies and their clients to facilitate the collaborative process.

Call Anastasia on 076 079 0214 or send an email to anastasia@sjapro.co.za to schedule a FREE 30 minute information session to learn more about the process.

Alternatively you can complete the Request for More Information Form by clicking on the More Information tab at the top of this page.

Co-habitation

Many couples today choose to enter into long-term or co-habitation partnerships, rather than go through the formal marriage process - either in church or in a registry office. The reasons for this are as varied as the number of couples entering into such partnerships.

What many people do not realise is that the law governing marriages is designed as a set of instructions about the roles and responsibilities of marrying couples in the marriage and what happens if the marriage dissolves. Indeed, there are a number of laws which govern the relationships between married couples and third parties. Couples entering into a long-term relationship without going through the formal process of marriage leave themselves vulnerable should the relationship come to an end - including as a result of the death of one of the parties - as there is currently no legal framework that makes provision for 'so-called' common law marriages. Not even 'common law' affords such relationships much legal protection or guidance. Certainly there have been attempts to remedy this through case law, and even an attempt to draft a Co-habitation Act - the first draft of which lies gathering dust in some law-maker's office.

Parties can, however, enter into a co-habitation agreement which can be designed to afford them the sort of protection, rights and responsibilities that are afforded couples married in terms of the country's marriage laws.

At SJA we can assist co-habiting couples to negotiate and draft such a co-habitation agreement.

Call Anastasia on 076 079 0214 or send an email to anastasia@sjapro.co.za to schedule a FREE 30 minute information session to learn more about the process.

Alternatively you can complete the Request for More Information Form by clicking on the More Information tab at the top of this page.

Workplace Mediation

Life in the workplace can be hard and workplace relationships can be challenging. As with all mediation, workplace mediation is a confidential and without prejudice process, allowing the parties concerned to engage in an open and honest discussion in a safe space to deal with workplace issues before they develop into full-blown conflict.

Early intervention before conflict escalates means less chance of the working relationship breaking down irrevocably and less chance of the conflict impacting negatively on the working environment.

More often than not, conflict in the workplace is symptomatic of systematic problems in the workplace and mediation often gets to expose these problems, allowing management to address the underlying systemic issues to the benefit of employees and the organisation alike.

Resolving workplace issues through mediation can have a positive impact on the organisation as a whole, and this can manifest in the form of a less stressful, more creative and productive work environment.

Call Anastasia on 076 079 0214 or send an email to anastasia@sjapro.co.za to schedule a FREE 30 minute information session to learn more about the process.

Alternatively you can complete the Request for More Information Form by clicking on the More Information tab at the top of this page.

More Information

Please complete and submit the Request for Information Form and we will contact you to make arrangements for your FREE 30 minute information session.

Please Note: We use Google Forms and Google Sheets to manage our practice. After we have contacted you we will remove all information captured from this Google Sheet. We DO NOT pass on this information to other parties for any reason whatsoever.