Update on the Community Schemes Ombud Services Act

The recent appointment of Mr Themba Mthethwa as the Chief Ombud for the Community Scheme Ombud Service Act (CSOSA) is, hopefully, a sign that the act will finally be implemented soon. 

CSOSA, along with the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA), was assented to in June 2011 already but is yet to be implemented. 

CSOSA aims to provide for the establishment of the community schemes Ombud service and a dispute resolution mechanism for community schemes. The Service must develop and provide a dispute resolution service; provide training for conciliators, adjudicators; regulate, monitor and control the quality of all sectional titles scheme governance documentation; and take custody of, preserve and provide public access to sectional title scheme governance documentation. 

The STSMA, on the other hand, will seek to assist bodies corporate to manage and regulate sectional titles schemes, including the application of the rules and to establish a sectional titles schemes management advisory council. 

This Advisory Council will be tasked with making recommendations to and advising the Minister in terms of the provisions of the act and keep the implementation of the Act and the regulations under regular review. 

The Council will consist of no more than seven but no less than five members, of whom one must be the chief Ombud as referred to above; one must be a senior official of the department designated by the Director-General; and the remainder must be persons appointed by the Minister who must have skills, knowledge and experience in the management of a range of types of schemes.