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Christies Law of Contract in South Africa

Originally published in 1981, Christie's Law of Contract in South Africa is well established as a leading authority in the field of contract law. It presents a thorough and complete exposition of the general

Publication Language: English
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ISBN/ISSN: 9781776321667

Product description

Originally published in 1981, Christie's Law of Contract in South Africa is well established as a leading authority in the field of contract law. It presents a thorough and complete exposition of the general principles of the law of contract as evolved and applied by the courts.

The seventh edition deals with recent case law on a variety of issues including electronic signatures; compliance with statutorily prescribed formalities for contractual validity; developments relating to agreements to negotiate; economic duress and undue influence; simulated contracts; reciprocity in contract; interim interdicts; and the remedy of specific performance. Additions that are more substantial include expanded treatment of the role of good faith in the law of contract. This tracks the continuing tension between the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court regarding the extent of that role, with the latter court pressing for a greater role for good faith but not providing sufficient clarity on what good faith means in the context of contract law or on what role it envisages for good faith. This tension has caused difficulties which are reflected in certain High Court decisions.

This edition deals with the now well-established approach to interpretation of contracts, with the implications this approach has for the related issue of admissibility of evidence to assist in ascertaining meaning. The section dealing with restraint-of-trade provisions has been rewritten to reflect more accurately partial enforcement of these provisions, without recourse to notions of severability, as has the section on extinctive prescription, to reflect developments in clarifying particularly the scope of application of the relevant provisions in the Prescription Act and interruption of the running of prescription.

In addition, changes have been introduced to the formatting to improve ease of reference. These include section headings within, and tables of contents for, chapters and cross-referencing to sections rather than to pages, as was done in previous editions.

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Table of contents

Preface to the 7th edition

Historical introduction

The Roman concept of contract

The Roman-Dutch concept of contract

The modern South African concept of contract

Current problems


Proof of agreement



Contracts without offer and acceptance

Offer and acceptance without contract



Formalities decided on by the parties

Formalities required by law

Conditional contracts

What is a condition?

Pending fulfilment of the condition

Fulfilment and non-fulfilment of conditions

The terms of the contract

Ascertaining the terms

Implied and tacit terms

Written terms


Parties to the contract

Contractual capacity

Plurality of parties

Privity of contract

Contracts for the benefit of a third party

Misrepresentation and fraud

General effect of misrepresentation and fault



Fault and damages

Duress and undue influence


Undue influence

Consumer legislation


Meaning of mistake

Unilateral mistake

Mutual mistake

Common mistake

Illegality and unenforceability

Statutory illegality and unenforceability

Common law illegality and unenforceability

Illegality of purpose

The effects of illegality


Effect of performance

Tender of performance

By whom performance may be made

To whom performance may be made

Performance in forma specifica or per aequipollens

Payment of money

Reciprocal obligations and the exceptio non adimpleti contractus

Appropriation of payments

Time of performance

Place of performance

Proof of payment

Variation and discharge

By act of the parties

Variation and discharge by operation of law

Mora and breach

Mora and breach generally



Remedies for breach


Specific performance


Declaration of rights



Conventional Penalties Act

Bibliographical abbreviations

Table of cases