GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (Afsa) launched a new branch that will serve the Southern Cape region, at a cocktail function held on 30 October at the Protea Hotel in George.
It was attended by representatives of the local municipalities, judiciary, law firms, the Southern Cape Society of Advocates and other prominent members of the local legal fraternity.
Afsa is a non-profit company, established in 1996, that provides arbitration and mediation services both nationally and internationally.
The manager of the new branch, advocate Jacques Malan, said the decision was made after an overwhelmingly positive reaction from interested parties and possible role players in Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, who felt there is a strong need for cost-effective arbitration and mediation services locally.
The new branch will serve districts such as Ladismith, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Uniondale, Willowmore and Joubertina, Plettenberg Bay, Riversdale and Stilbaai.
The Garden Route branch will be managed by Malan together with a committee consisting of representatives of local law firms, the Southern Cape Society of Advocates and organised business.
The services will be available to both commercial litigants involved in disputes concerning relatively large amounts, and disputes about matters of relatively smaller value, including family law matters. In terms of the Arbitration Act, 42 of 1965, only matrimonial causes or matters incidental thereto, and matters relating to status are excluded from arbitration.
According to Malan the establishment of the Garden Route branch of Afsa is an important milestone toward realising the constitutional right of access to justice for local disputants.
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