Expanding Accessibility: New Ombudsman Offices in Atlantis and Khayelitsha

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The City of Cape Town has taken a significant step forward in its commitment to providing accessible and comprehensive services to its residents. On 27 June 2023, two new Ombudsman’s offices opened in Atlantis and Khayelitsha. These offices are intended to bring essential services closer to residents and provide a crucial line of communication between the public and the City.

Location and Operation

The new Ombudsman’s offices are located at the Atlantis Investment Facilitation Office and the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn. Both offices will operate every Tuesday from 09:00 to 14:00, excluding public holidays. The offices are equipped with dedicated staff who will assist visitors in lodging last resort municipal-related complaints. It is important for residents to bring their ID and any relevant reference numbers or documentation when visiting the office.

Multiple Channels for Submitting Complaints

In addition to the physical offices, the City’s Office of the Ombudsman offers multiple channels for submitting last resort municipal-related complaints. These channels include telephone, SMS, fax, email, and online options. This wide array of communication methods ensures that the public can easily reach the Ombudsman, no matter their preferred mode of communication.

Complaints Process

The Ombudsman’s Office primarily deals with complaints regarding service delivery that have not been adequately addressed by the City’s departments. Before approaching the Ombudsman, residents must first contact the relevant City department and provide proof of exchange. When lodging a complaint, it is crucial to describe the issue in detail, including the names of the officials involved, a thorough account of the incident, and any pertinent dates and times. Including relevant documentation or evidence strengthens the case and aids the Ombudsman in their investigation.

Commitment to Independence, Credibility, and Impartiality

The Ombudsman’s Office operates under the Ombudsman By-law (2015) and is committed to upholding independence, credibility, and impartiality. Interference in the office’s business, powers, and functions is prohibited by both the law and the South African Constitution. This guarantees that the Ombudsman can effectively serve as a fair and unbiased mediator between the public and the City.

Matters Outside the Ombudsman’s Jurisdiction

While the Ombudsman’s Office is a valuable resource for addressing various municipal-related complaints, certain matters fall outside its jurisdiction. The Ombudsman does not investigate legislative or executive decisions by the Council or its committees, fraud or corruption allegations, labor disputes, financial irregularities, cases where the complainant has not contacted the relevant department, alleged misconduct by a councillor, vexatious or frivolous complaints, or tender-related matters.

The introduction of new Ombudsman’s offices in Atlantis and Khayelitsha reflects the City’s ongoing commitment to improving accessibility and fostering open communication with its residents. These establishments, coupled with the various communication channels available for lodging complaints, ensure that the public’s concerns are heard and addressed in a timely, efficient, and impartial manner. As the Ombudsman’s Office continues to expand its presence and services, the City of Cape Town moves closer to achieving a more transparent, accountable, and responsive administration.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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