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DiSAC is a voluntary association of the mediation and arbitration industry in South Africa.

DiSAC was established in 2010 through a consultative process facilitated by the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement.

DiSAC bases its work on international best practice, and aligns with International Agencies working to develop industry standards.

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Participation and support

The work of DiSAC has the participation and support of the following organisations:

  • Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement, at the University of Stellenbosch Business School
  • Africa Dispute Resolution
  • Association of Arbitrators of Southern Africa
  • Conflict Dynamics,
  • Equillore Dispute Settlement Services
  • Justice College of the Department of Justice
  • Law Society of SA, and the Legal Education and Development Unit of the Law Society
  • Master Mediators
  • Mediation Company
  • Mediators in Motion
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Tokiso Dispute Settlement,
  • University of Cape Town, Law@Work

In addition a number of other organisations have participated in the discussions, and given their in principle support for the initiative. These include the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Mandela Institute (University of Witwatersrand), the National Democratic Lawyers Association and Advocates for Transformation.

Voluntary System

The system of standards and accreditation provided by DiSAC is a voluntary, ‘opt-in’ system. It is not a licensing system. This implies that accreditation is not a requirement for practicing as a dispute settlement practitioner. Accreditation is however an indication that the mediator / arbitrator is qualified and meets the industry standards.

This approach accords with that followed in other jurisdictions. Experience in these jurisdictions also shows that the voluntary standards adopted by the industry do eventually become the de facto standard.

Operational Framework

DiSAC’s Operational Framework can be found here:

DiSAC Ops Framework Vers1

The objectives of DiSAC:

  1. Define and publish affiliation requirements for membership to the Council.
  2. Define and publish national accreditation standards for dispute settlement practitioners (mediators and arbitrators), as well as trainers, programmes and assessors, all aimed at developing skills in these fields.
  3. Maintain and publish a national register of accredited service-providers, accredited dispute settlement practitioners, trainers, programmes and assessors.
  4. Actively promote transformation and racial and gender equity in the dispute settlement industry.
  5. Internationalisation of mediation and arbitration as practiced in South Africa.
  6. Actively engage with all stake holders involved with or affected by the dispute settlement industry on matters of mutual interest.
  7. Monitor adherence to the affiliation requirements by all member organisations.