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7th October 2016: Arbitrations and adjudications are on the rise in the construction industry as companies face headwinds in the domestic market, according to Euan Massey, director at MDA Attorneys. In addition to market pressures, there is likely to be increased demand for trained adjudicators as a result of the implementation of the Construction Industry Development Board’s (cidb) proposed Prompt Payment Regulations and Adjudication Standard for contracts. It introduces a mandatory form of adjudication for the construction industry.

Massey says that adjudication has been implemented by the South African construction industry as the preferred dispute resolution procedure. “MDA Attorneys recently analysed the adjudications in its firm and found that most disputes handled were between contractors and employers. This may be because subcontractors and contractors tend to resolve disputes without reference to formal dispute resolution mechanisms,” he says.

The ability to meet the anticipated rise in construction adjudication relies on having competent and qualified adjudicators to rule on disputes in the construction sector. MDA Attorney director Vaughan Hattingh, together with Professor Maritz (head of the department of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria) has designed, developed and facilitated the Certificate Programme in Construction Adjudication presented by Enterprises at the University of Pretoria. This certificate programme, going into its fifth year, produces skilled qualified adjudicators into the South African construction industry.

Bryan Westcott, a construction manager and practicing adjudicator who completed the course, says that the programme is specifically designed for both construction and legal professionals who have experience in the construction industry. “The course gave me valuable insight into how lawyers think, which has stood me in good stead as a mediator and adjudicator. The class interaction and debates were brilliant, as we had highly experienced lecturers and a group of students who were a mix of legal professionals and construction experts,” he says.

The course covers:

  • an introduction to South African law and legal theory
  • construction practice and technology
  • South African and international construction law – principles and application – including an in-depth study of the four CIDB endorsed standard form construction contracts
  • construction claims and disputes
  • dispute resolution and adjudication procedure and practice

The programme is presented in monthly modules over a year. Applications are being accepted for 2017. More information can be obtained from marie.vanniekerk@enterprisesup.ac.za or 012 434 2640.

For interviews, photographs or further information, please contact Despina Harito at Turquoise PR & Marketing Communications despina@turquoisepr.co.za or 011 452 1840 / 084 453 1755.

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