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Business interruption: pandemic claims in South Africa

Insurance Law Monthly

Business interruption: pandemic claims in South Africa

Covid-19 test cases are beginning to emerge from common law jurisdictions. There have to date been two decisions from the South African courts, Café Chameleon CC v Guardrisk Insurance Co Ltd [2020] ZAWCHC 65 and Ma-Afrika Hotels (Pty) Ltd and Another v Santam Ltd [2020] ZAWCHC 160. Café Chameleon pre-dated the Divisional Court’s ruling in FCA v Arch Insurance [2020] Lloyd’s Rep IR 572 and was decided on causation grounds.

Ma-Afrika Hotels post-dated the UK decision and adopted much the same reasoning. Two separate judgments were given in Ma-Africa Hotels , a joint judgment by Goliath DJP and Mantame J, and a judgment by Cloete J which adopted slightly different reasoning but reached the same conclusions.

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