So what exactly happened on the CSOS roadshow? No one knows
No sooner had the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) Chief Ombudsman and chief financial officer left their offices in Johannesburg under “precautionary suspension” than the acting Chief Ombudsman, Ndivhuwo Rabuli, perceived the need for a roadshow “to rebuild trust and credibility of the CSOS Service throughout South Africa”.
Writing in the latest edition of the CSOS quarterly newsletter, Shared Living, Ms Rabuli says that “following recent developments and negative media reporting, the CSOS is in a challenging position and the Executive will be embarking on a roadshow in November 2018.
“Themed ‘Phakama’ the roadshow is aimed at engaging stakeholders at various levels to communicate the CSOS position, instill confidence in the current CSOS management and plan of action, encourage compliance and payment of levies, and to mitigate the damage caused by the VBS investment and recent media reporting on it.
“Different stakeholders ranging from industry bodies, community schemes stakeholders and the public at large will be targeted to put across the CSOS mandate and allay fears that may have been created by the negative reports from the media. The roadshows will be in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein and the last one will be in Johannesburg.
“We hope these roadshows will enable us an opportunity to tell our story directly to our stakeholders and to understand their concerns as well so that we can all reach a mutual understanding and move the CSOS forward.”
HomeTimes has attempted to gather more information about the roadshows and responses to the initiative, but to date has not yet had a response from the CSOS offices in Johannesburg. That information will be shared with you as soon as feedback is received.
In the three-month period to the end of September 2018, three regional offices (Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape) received 1,575 new applications for dispute resolution. Of that total, 1,392 cases were finalised (including 345 by way of reconciliation), 437 by adjudication and 419 applications were rejected on the basis of jurisdiction or non-payment of CSOS fees. Three matters have been taken to the High Court on appeal.
A breakdown of the types of schemes from which applications have been lodged in the three month period to end September shows that 1,411 were from owners/residents in sectional title schemes, 13 from share block schemes, 139 from homeowners association schemes, two from retirement schemes and 10 from other types.
Financial issues made up the bulk of applications received (899), followed by private and common area issues (217), behavioural issues (169), general and other (86), meetings (65), governance (27), and management issues (22).
The newsletter also stated that CSOS has delivered on its promise of making available on its website some of the rulings handed down by arbitrators who considered applications in various provinces, albeit that it was only in October this year that a total of 88 cases were loaded onto the CSOS website. Some of the applications and findings make interesting reading.
The sub headings and the number of cases under each heading are First Adjudication Order, General Adjudication Orders (2 cases), Financial Issues (35 cases), Private Areas and Common Areas (34 cases), Behavioural (4 cases), Scheme Governance (5 cases) and Meetings (7 cases).
Words: Blake Wilkins