A recent UK decision made some interesting remarks regarding the interpretation of an insurance policy which should be no different in South Africa:

  1. The wording of the schedule and the policy wording must be considered together without giving greater weight to either.
  2. The fact that clearer words could have been used does not mean that

The definition of ‘business day’ in South African agreements often includes phrases like ‘any day on which banks are open for business in South Africa’. These words are confusing and it is sufficient to refer to a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or official public holiday.

The words have crept in from English law

In a UK case, the contract included a provision that “the parties will endeavour to first resolve the matter through Swiss arbitration. Should a resolution not be forthcoming the courts of England will have non-exclusive jurisdiction”. It was held that this is not an arbitration agreement.

The parties did not specifically agree to refer