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South Africa: Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela Applauds the Process of the Establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman by the City of Johannesburg
Source: Issued by: Public Protector South Africa
Source Date: Thursday, December 20, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 20, 2012

She said that even though the CoJ already has an Integrity Commissioner, the establishment of the Ombudsman will safeguard the rights of residents by investigating and resolving their complaints at local government level. In explaining the role and significance of the Ombudsman Office, Adv Madonsela used the analogy of “The Naked Emperor” whose subjects praised for beautiful robes because no one dared to tell the truth until a child said he was naked. She cautioned the CoJ Ombudsman against being the “The Naked Emperor” but be the voice of Joburg residents that speaks truth to power and at the same time the conscience of the City.
“It will no longer be necessary for the people to take to the streets to be heard if there is no arrogance, indifference and selfishness in the exercise of power but meaningful dialogue with the people, said Adv Madonsela.
The Public Protector will defer complaints to the Ombudsman Office in CoJ if it has strong and effective internal controls and operates with the highest level of integrity. The Public Protector undertook to support the CoJ with setting up the office including recruitment and training through the African Ombudsman Research Centre which is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. She said various kinds of training offered include Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), leadership and investigation.
She encouraged the people of Johannesburg to provide inputs on the powers the Ombudsman should have and recommended that post the establishment of the office all offices delivering services should conclude their letters with “If you are unhappy with the service please contact the office of the Ombudsman”.
She concluded by wishing the CoJ luck with the important milestone of creating a mechanism that will ensure that the city listens better to its people.
For more information contact:
Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson for Public Protector South Africa
Cell: 079 507 0399
Toll Free: 0800 11 20 40
E-mail: kgalalelom@pprotect.org
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