Construction Law in South Africa – Non-Payment of Interim Certificates

South Africa is known for its liberal and progressive law systems, causing confusion that commonly leads to legal disputes between parties. In the construction sector, the same rings true, with the most common cases between contractors and clients being about non-payment as a result of contractual breach on either party’s end. This brings us to the status of interim payment certificates and the non-payment of these certificates in the case of cancellation.

What Constitutes the Non-Payment of Interim Certificates?

According to a recent South African Supreme Court of Appeal ruling, if a client lawfully terminates a construction contract, the contractor’s claim for retention money and unpaid invoices are considered as separate and independent from the remainder of the contract. Therefore, these interim certificates do not have any legal force or effect upon contract termination, as the contractor cannot legally sustain a basis of payment where there is no further legal expectation for the work to be completed. Ultimately, payment would depend on the delivery and/or completion of the work, which is foregone upon contract termination, and therefore, debars any claim based on interim ayment certificates.

My Legal Options as a Contractor

When faced with a legal dispute based on non-payment of any kind, you need Construction and Contractual Law experts on your side. By choosing Allardyce & Partners Attorneys, you can utilise our leal expertise to draw up and finalise contracts that adhere to industry standards and ensure that you get paid accordingly. We can also assist with legal representation and offer a comprehensive solution to legal services for your business.

We offer our representation on a “no win, no fee” contingency, in accordance with our terms and conditions, to give you the peace of mind that your business can move forward and not face expensive legal fees if you lose your case. Please feel free to browse our website for details on our legal solutions or contact us on 011 234 2125 or email us at with any enquiries.

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