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Ombuds – Why and How to Use Them


An “ombud” (often called ombudsperson, ombudsman or ombudswoman, and sometimes not referred to as an “ombud” at all) is an independent and impartial person or office who will investigate any complaint you may have against a business, government agency, or public or private institution falling under their authority.


Ombuds seek to resolve disputes (to the benefit of all parties) fairly, efficiently, and cost-effectively by acting as mediators between complainants and the entity being complained about. Many have the power to make binding “determinations”. Most are free to complainants.


Fighting your bank, body corporate, or panel beater: Who you gonna call?


When you have a beef with your bank or body corporate, a grievance against SARS, or a fight with the panel beaters, and whether you are an individual or a business, think of calling in the appropriate ombud.


There are many ombuds in South Africa, some limited to a specific sector and some to a specific entity - often institutions like universities, municipalities etc have their own internal ombud.


There are too many to list all the ombuds here but in particular bear in mind those ombuds with a wider remit than just one institution or industry player. We’ve compiled for you a list of some of the most important ones and their contact details (Name; Website; Tel. No.; Email; What areas they cover) –

There are many more – Google for any specifics.

Present your complaint effectively!

A final thought – how well you present your complaint and your side of the story to an ombud will directly impact your chances of a successful outcome, so specific legal advice is a no-brainer here, particularly in larger disputes.

[DH1]Is the https part of the address meant to be showing? Here and below for Tax Ombud. @Jack Crook

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