In the first part of this article (that appeared in the June 2016 issue
of this journal), the author analysed the development and current
application of the interpretation rule in the South African law of
contract. In the second part of this article, the author investigates
in detail whether the current application of the interpretation rule
is in line with the South African contractual liability approaches.
The basis of contractual liability is briefly examined and how this
concept is expressed as the common intention of the parties when
a contract is entered into. Finally, the reasons for the existence of
the application of the interpretation rule are critically investigated.
It is argued that, although there has been considerable progress in
terms of the admission of extrinsic evidence in the interpretation
of contracts in the South African law, there is still a large degree
of confusion and the current application in terms of the admission
of extrinsic evidence in the interpretation of contracts still falls
short. It is, therefore, recommended that legislation seems to be
the only workable solution to rectify the problems pertaining to the
interpretation rule once and for all.