City of Cape Town launches Ombudsman SMS service

Cape Town City Sunset buildings
Unsplash/Tim Johnson

The City of Cape Town Ombudsman Office has launched a new SMS service for residents of the municipality.

Residents can now either send an SMS or a Please Call Me to 44781 to report issues or complaints about the city.

The launch of the service happened on 15 March, the same day as World Consumer Rights Day.

“At its core, it is about bringing services closer to all the residents of Cape Town,” the City’s Ombudsman, Vusumzi Magwebu, said in a statement.

“It is important that our services are accessible, especially to the most vulnerable residents. We have to move with the times and offer services on the channels that our residents use most.”

How to use the Ombudsman SMS service for Cape Town

The Ombudsman exists to provide oversight over the municipality. The office deals with issues such as service delivery and mismanagement.

When sending an SMS to the Ombudsman, you must limit your message to 160 characters per SMS.

New messages must include a brief description of the complaint, followed by your name, surname, contact number, and municipal account number.

Residents can also send follow-up messages to previously-sent ones. A follow-up message should include a brief message and a municipal account number.

After sending a message, you will receive an automated response and the Ombud’s Office will try to respond to your complaint with two working days.

You can also send complaints via email at or fax to 021 400 5952.

Once a complaint has been acknowledged, the Ombud will determine if the matter can be investigated and the resident will be assisted with the appropriate complaints forms through online communication.

The turnaround time for an Ombudsman investigation is three months.

Complaints or enquiries to the Ombud’s Office must come after a resident has engaged with the City first.

You will need to have proof of that exchange before approaching the Ombudsman.

Feature image: Unsplash/Tim Johnson

Read more: City of Cape Town hopes to introduce Remote Working Visa

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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