Can a oral agreement to enter into a later sale agreeement of land be valid. Pactum de Contrahendo.

Abigak 1 General Trading & Investment CC v Gani and Another; Gani and Another v Balkin and Others (1184/16; 6620/16) [2017] ZAGPJHC 126 (5 May 2017)

Background
Sometime during 2007 the parties entered into a oral agreement
. The oral agreement they contend for is said to have numerous terms relating to beneficial occupation, obligations for restoration of the property, the payment of outstanding rates and taxes, the payment of an outstanding overdraft and maintenance of the property and It was an express and agreed condition that upon payment of all of the amounts referred to …, a formal written agreement will be entered into between the parties in order to transfer the property into our nominated family trust." ("the material oral agreement term"). A formal written agreement as envisaged in the material oral agreement term has never been concluded.

Judgement

Found that the parties cannot rely on the material oral agreement term (as an enforceable pactum de contrahendo) and as the foundation for the relief sought in the setting-aside application, is unsustainable in law.

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