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The Ombudsman’s Council*, established in 1999, is a wholly independent body consisting of ten members

The Ombudsman’s Council was created for the specific purpose of monitoring the independence and performance of the office

The Ombudsman’s Council is answerable to neither the industry nor anyone else

Mandate of the Council **

  • facilitate independent, equitable, speedy and cost-effective resolution of disputes by the Ombudsman
  • appoint the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman
  • receive the Ombudsman’s annual report
  • receive ongoing updates on the Ombudsman’s activities
  • consider the Ombudsman’s finances and statistics
  • approve the Ombudsman’s budget
  • fix and make changes to the Ombudsman’s rules and
  • see to it that the Ombudsman’s office achieves its mission

Present members of the Council:

Justice Leona Theron (Chairperson)
Justice of the Constitutional Court

Ms Thandiwe Zulu
Regional Manager of the Black Sash

Ms Mpho Lekala
Chief Operations Officer: Consumer Financial Education Foundation

jackie huma

Ms Jackie Huma (ex officio)
Head of Department: Micro and Access product institutions supervision, Financial Sector Conduct Authority

alan woolfson

Mr Alan Woolfson
Director of companies

lumka phala

Ms Lumka Phala
Head of Finance: Short-term Insurance (Africa Regional Offices), Absa Group Limited

Mr Glenn Hickling (ex officio)
Head of Legal Department: BrightRock Life Limited; Chairperson of the Ombudsman’s Committee

Judge Margie Victor (ex officio)

*The Financial Services Ombud Schemes Act of 2004 stipulates that no voluntary ombud scheme will be permitted to operate as such unless it has been accorded recognition in terms of the Act, which the office duly applied for and was granted; section 10(1)(b) stipulates that the scheme must be answerable to “a body that is not controlled by participants in the scheme and to which the ombud is accountable, must … appoint the ombud, … monitor the performance and independence of the ombud, … and monitor the continued compliance by the scheme with its constitution, the provisions of the scheme and this Act …”; the Council has always been just such a body, and because it had been established six years before it became a legislative requirement in terms of section (10)(1)(b) it was, as such, ahead of its time, its establishment in 1999 having foreseen the future need for such bodies in the interests of consumers.
**Save for three who are members ex officio, the members of the Council, who are citizens of standing, are appointed in their personal capacities, but with due regard to the knowledge and skills required by the office of the Ombudsman, and the need to represent the broad public interest and promote public confidence.

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