Dube acting in the ombud hot seat

JOBURG – Dinkie Dube took office on 18 May and spoke to us about the ombudsman's role.


If you have gone to hell and back, as many residents say they have, to try and resolve your billing issues, the City of Johannesburg’s ombudsman is your next, and probably your final stop.

The ombudsman, who is the City’s independent watchdog, will resolve billing issues, investigate any complaints of maladministration, violation of human rights and lack of service delivery to help champion accountability within the City.

Read: City of Joburg ombudsman suspended 

Dinkie Dube, executive manager of complaints and investigations in the office of the ombudsman who was appointed acting ombudsman on 18 May, says the office is resolving a lot more cases since its creation by the City in 2015.

In January, nine investigators were recruited and enabled the office to resolve 209 complaints in the last quarter. The office currently receives an average of 30 new complaints each month. Dube expects this number to grow after planned public awareness and education campaigns about the function of the office.

With a budget allocation of R52 million, Dube outlined the key priorities this budget will address in the next financial year. The priority list includes awareness and education, automation of the office systems and breakthrough in investigations where service delivery fails.

“We have also set an ambitious turnaround target to resolve simple cases (round-table discussion resolution) in three months and complex cases (service delivery or violation of human rights) in six months,” she said.

The ombudsman’s office is also piloting the idea of placing complaints boxes across the City’s seven regions so that residents needn’t go to Houghton, where the ombudsman’s headquarters are.

Dube said the ombudsman should win the confidence of Joburg citizens. Residents should know if something goes wrong, they can come to the office of the ombudsman and save money on litigation costs, she said.

Also read:

City launches 24-hour traffic hotline in a bid to get traffic flowing smoothly 

Councillor’s Corner: Billing issues

Details: Office of the Ombudsman on 010 288 2800, open from Monday to Friday from 8am until 5pm, closed on weekends and public holidays. The website is currently being revamped.

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