Mediation is a consensual and informal negotiation where parties in a dispute use the services of independent mediator to assist them to (a) firstly, define the issues in dispute and (b) secondly explore settlement options, assess the settlement options, and finally, (c) negotiate a mutually amicable resolution. Mediation enables the parties in dispute to negotiate solutions which need not to conform to legal rights.
The main aim of the Building Disputes Tribunal (BDSA) is to empower all parties to be in a position where they could negotiate and resolve the dispute cost effectively, and confidentially rather than to have a decision imposed upon them by a court of law. To meet these objectives, the Building Disputes Tribunal of South Africa (BDTSA) has developed their own internal Mediation Rules to promote the negotiated settlement and inexpensive resolution. BDTSA has also developed a protocol, to guide the rights and responsibilities of all participants and the mediators in the process under these rules.