Arbitration is often quicker than going to court, and applies to any legal dispute. Evidence is led by each party in what amounts to a simplified form of court proceedings, where the parties appoint and pay for a private lawyer to make a final ruling once he has heard evidence for both sides.
Mediation is an entirely different way to approach a legal dispute. The parties negotiate their own solution with the help of a trained mediator. New court rules are about to be introduced in South Africa which will make it obligatory for disputing parties to try and reach a mediated settlement and so remove the expense and time of continuing with their court case.