Body Corporate Ombudsman South Africa (2023)

Body corporate ombudsmen (BCOs) are an important part of the governance structure in South Africa. They help to resolve disputes between members of a body corporate, and can also provide advice on governance matters.

This article provides an overview of what BCOs do and how to appoint a BCO. It also includes information on how to deal with complaints and conflicts that may arise within a body corporate.

Who is a Body Corporate Ombudsman?

The body corporate ombudsman is an independent officer who assists and promotes good governance in South African companies. The office of the body corporate ombudsman was created in 2006, and its functions are set out in the Companies Act.

The ombudsman’s role can include helping to resolve disputes between shareholders, board members, and officers; investigating complaints against the body corporate; and providing mediation and arbitration services. In addition, the body corporate ombudsman can advise companies on how to improve their internal procedures.

Ombudsmen are typically appointed by the governing bodies of corporations or boards of directors.

Victims’ Rights under the Body Corporate Ombudsman Act

Victims’ rights are enshrined in the Body Corporate Ombudsman Act. This act recognises that individuals have the right to information, participation and redress, irrespective of their relationship to the body corporate in question.

The ombudsman can assist victims to resolve complaints through mediation or arbitration. The Ombudsman also has the power to conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct by body corporate officers and employees. This can result in corrective action being taken.

If a victim is not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation or mediation, they can take their complaint further to the South African Fair Trade Commission (Safta). Safta is responsible for enforcing anti-corruption legislation in South Africa.

The Role of the Body Corporate Ombudsman

The role of the body corporate ombudsman has come to be recognised as an important part of corporate governance in South Africa. The ombudsman’s office was originally established to assist and support company directors, employees, and shareholders. However, over time it has come to play a much broader role in the resolution of disputes between company members.

The ombudsman’s office operates under the premise that all parties involved in a dispute should have their voice heard and should be able to reach a solution that is acceptable to all. This principle is based on the belief that when parties can communicate effectively and work together towards a common goal, everyone benefits.

The ombudsman’s office offers free advice and assistance to both company directors and employees. It also provides resources such as templates for complaints and resolutions, dispute resolution guides, online dispute resolution platforms, and training courses for both company directors and employees.

In addition to resolving disputes between company members, the ombudsman’s office also promotes good corporate governance practices by guiding best practices in areas such as financial reporting, human resources management, boardroom procedures, mergers & acquisitions, governance framework development etc.

Overall, the role of the body corporate ombudsman is important because it allows all parties involved in a dispute to have their voice heard and reach a solution that is acceptable to them all. This helps promote good corporate governance practices and ensures that companies can thrive in today’s competitive environment.

The body corporate ombudsman in South Africa also helps to reduce the amount of time that companies spend dealing with these disputes. By providing an informal mediation and dispute resolution service, the body corporate ombudsman can help businesses save time and money.

Functions of the Body Corporate Ombudsman

The Body Corporate Ombudsman (BCO) is an independent officer of a body corporate designated by the South African Law Reform Commission. The function of the BCO is to protect and promote the interests of members, employees and customers who have a problem with or are concerned about their dealings with the body corporate.

The BCO can investigate any matter that may involve misconduct or unsatisfactory service by the body corporate. In some cases, the BCO can also resolve disputes between members, employees and customers. The BCO has powers to compel witnesses to give evidence and can issue search warrants if necessary.

The BCO is responsible for educating members, employees and customers about their rights under company law, and providing support when they need it. The BCO also provides advice to companies on how to deal with complaints from members, employees and customers.

Duties of the Body Corporate Ombudsman

Ombudsmen have a statutory role in the country’s regulations and are responsible for promoting dialogue and resolving disputes between members of a company.

The ombudsman should be accessible, responsive to complaints, objective, impartial and have the financial resources to provide adequate representation for complainants. The ombudsman should also know relevant statutes and business practices.

How to Make a Complaint to the Body Corporate Ombudsman

If you have a grievance with your body corporate, there are several channels you can go through to address the issue. The first step is to speak to your immediate supervisor or manager about the problem.

If that doesn’t work, you can send an email outlining your concerns and requesting a meeting. Finally, if those options don’t resolve the issue, you can contact the body corporate ombudsman.



The body corporate ombudsman is a neutral third party who helps resolve disputes between employees and their employers. To make a complaint against your employer, you will need to provide some information about the issue and indicate which channel you would like the ombudsman to use to help resolve the dispute. Most complaints are resolved within six months, but it can take longer if there is a complex issue.

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