Mediation is not a foreign concept in South Africa with its rich heritage of the African humanist philosophy known as ‘Ubuntu’. Many will argue that mediation helped persuade the previous government to make peace, but it is when the disputants realised that winning is not the best and only option for them, that they apply their minds to negotiating a settlement – so they mediated. Our focus is to assist families and parties involved in family related and other disputes to reach consensus and resolution. As Mediators, we operate in the shadow of the law, within the local legal and court system, the mechanisms for resolution of disputes are through a process of constructive dialogue using the services of a neutral party: a mediator. Our focus is to assist families and parties involved in family related and other disputes to reach consensus and resolution that meets the best interest of all the parties involved and especially the children who are often caught in the cross fire.
THE TALKING POINT AND ELZABE OPPERMAN
Elzabè, obtained her BA Ind Soc (Hons) degree and a Masters Certificate in Labour Relations from NWU. An accomplished executive and consultant, spanning over more than ‘two decades’ in the Financial Services industry, having had career success in driving Quality Assurance, Operational Risk Management, Regulatory Compliance, Retail and Corporate Marketing functions on multinational platforms. Having gained significant experience in the industry in areas of operations of fast-paced, rapidly changing Insurance and Banking sales and service call center and customer services environments.
She is meticulous when it comes to mediation and driven to help those affected to see a different perspective by using the right tools and methods to make the right decisions and lift themselves up. With approximately 13 million children in South Africa growing up without both biological parents in one home, our focus is on the children and what is in their best interests. Due to the enormous need for intervention in family disputes, the traditional approaches don’t have the capacity to deliver justice timeously to children and families. For many court users who have no alternative options, justice become a tedious, very expensive and sometimes impossible exercise. Therefore, we will dedicate our lives and our careers to make a difference in the lives of those who really need it.
She has an incredible passion for people and thrives on making a difference in the lives of everyone she encounters. Her refuge is her husband, home and family and their many animals. It will come as no surprise that you will find her either busy knitting another blanket to donate or taking family photographs. She still dreams of becoming a grade 1 teacher and writing a book about her very special friendship with Dinah, their housekeeper of the last 25 years. But, in the meantime, for solid support, guidance and advice on the benefits of mediation and why you should rather rescue a dog or a cat instead of buying a puppy or a kitten, Elzabè is the person to contact.
She then repositioned herself and decided to change course in 2017 following her passion: ‘become a full-time peacemaker and save the world’ by starting a company to help follow her passion and ‘give back’. Thanks to the input of her friend and partner, she trained and qualified and became an accredited member of SAAM (South African Association of Mediators). At the heart of The Talking Point that she manages is a team of accredited, knowledgeable and passionate individuals who care about accessible justice for families and children who work with a qualified network of practitioners and associates.