Successful Sport Mediation Workshop Held in Cape Town
Mediation and arbitration are quicker, more effective and cheaper mechanisms for resolving disputes in sport than going to court. This was a key message from Chairperson of the Western Cape Sport Arbitration Forum, Adv. André Oosthuizen at a mediation workshop in Cape Town on Tuesday, 19 November 2013.
The Forum is an independent body established under the National Sport and Recreation Act to resolve sport disputes through mediation and arbitration. Representatives from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), sport councils, sport federations and other bodies attended the workshop to learn about mediation and the services the Forum offers.
Adv. Oosthuizen said alternative dispute resolution mechanisms should be explored at all levels of government as a speedy, cost-effective alternative to litigation. “Litigation is becoming increasingly dysfunctional. It has become unaffordable and involves delays, frequently of such duration that it isn’t worth seeing the dispute to finality. It also cannot fulfil any role in restoring relationships or achieving long-term positive outcomes.”
DCAS Sport Promotion Director Mr Thabo Tutu highlighted the importance of creating capacity in federations to resolve disputes. Workshop participants agreed that their organisations would identify representatives who could be sent for accredited training in mediation. These skills would enable them to intervene in disputes as soon as possible. Where disputes cannot be resolved at this level, they will be referred to the Western Cape Sport Arbitration Forum.