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The MDA Adjudication Survey is now into its third year. This is the only survey of its type in South Africa and provides some anecdotal statistical insight regarding the use of adjudication in our local industry. In 2017, MDA handled 45 adjudications, an increase from 2016 where we handled 27 adjudications. These numbers reaffirm that MDA is at the forefront of adjudication in South Africa.

You will notice a few new statistics in the 2017 survey. We have gathered information regarding the hourly fee charged by adjudicators, whether there was a hearing and whether a notice of dissatisfaction was issued.

The hourly fee range for adjudicators is vast, starting at R1350 and reaching the top end at R4000. This correlates with the qualifications of the adjudicator, with legally qualified adjudicators at the top end. A statistic not captured in the survey is that where parties agree to the identity of the adjudicator, they tend to prefer a legally or dual qualified adjudicator.

There is a growing trend to conduct a hearing as part of the adjudication procedure. In most instances the purpose of such a hearing is for the adjudicator to raise questions and for the parties to make their submissions. These hearings should not be used for the leading of evidence – however in several of these hearings, either the adjudicator or the parties will use the hearing for this exact purpose. We have recently had an adjudication hearing which lasted more than a week. These are potentially dangerous signs as adjudication could morph into a form of “mini-arbitration” losing its effectiveness for dealing with disputes swiftly and at relatively low cost.

Several construction law practitioners criticize adjudication and advise their clients to bypass it and head directly into arbitration. By recording the number of decisions where a notice of dissatisfaction was issued, we are able to establish the efficacy (or otherwise) of adjudication in finally resolving disputes. The 2017 survey reflects that no notice of dissatisfaction was issued in 73% of the adjudications which means that these decisions were accepted by the parties as final and binding. Of the remaining 27% only a few of these disputes were referred to arbitration. These percentages indicate the adjudication remains an effective form of dispute resolution.

Click here to view the 2017 MDA Adjudication Survey.

Cover 2016 (2)









Click here to view full 2016 report.



Click here to view full 2015 report.

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