South Africa 4.4.2015 10:00 am

Ombudsman to open doors to public

FILE PICTURE: Mayor for the City of Johannesburg Parks Tau. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

FILE PICTURE: Mayor for the City of Johannesburg Parks Tau. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The City of Johannesburg has announced that its independent Office of the Ombudsman will open its doors to the public in July.

“Advocate Siduduzo Gumede was appointed as the first ever Ombudsman for the City in line with the Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Cllr. Parks Tau’s drive for transparency, accountability and overall good governance in the organization,” the City said in a statement.

“Advocate Gumede’s appointment follows the approval of a municipal by-law by the City Council on the 19th of June 2013. This by-law defines the powers of the Ombudsman and helps establish his independence. It enables him to oversee all complaints related to acts of maladministration in the City of Johannesburg – including acts that infringe on the constitutional rights of citizens.”

The appointment of Advocate Gumede is in line with the City’s Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy (2040GDS), which calls for City employees and its leadership to embrace good governance practices.

“The Strategy requires the organisation to be responsive, accountable, efficient and productive in the way it carries out its duties.

“The City seeks to ensure that customers and citizens feel acknowledged through an approach that puts them first and the Office of the Ombudsman has to hold everyone in the City’s administration accountable,” Tau said.

“As the City’s Ombudsman, Advocate Gumede will be the designated neutral facilitator of ‘the last resort’.”

“The position of the Ombudsman is designed to provide confidential and impartial assistance in resolving grievances and disputes. His responsibilities also include the mediation of fair settlements between parties.

“As an Ombudsman, Advocate Gumede will, furthermore be investigating complaints of violations of human rights by the City’s administration and seek appropriate redress – while also creating awareness of human rights among the people of Johannesburg.”

Citizens are urged to still make use of established City structures, and exhaust these platforms before taking their concerns to the Office of the Ombudsman, added Tau.

 

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