On 17 October the South African government introduced a Community Schemes Ombud Service for the swift and inexpensive resolution of disputes in community schemes of which sectional title schemes are the most important. Any person who is a party to, or materially affected by, a dispute, may lodge an application with a regional ombud at the regional office at Cape Town, Durban or Pretoria. The application must set out the relief sought which must be within the scope of the orders provided for in section 39 of the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act. The regional ombud must consider whether there is a reasonable prospect of a negotiated settlement of the dispute and if so, refer the matter to conciliation. If there is no such prospect or conciliation fails, the regional ombud must refer the application together with any submissions and responses to an adjudicator. After hearing the evidence, the adjudicator must make an order granting of rejecting each part of the relief sought by the applicant and set out the reasons for the order. My aim is to critically assess the quality (degree of excellence) of the almost 2000 adjudications (judgments) given by adjudicators from October 2016 to date.
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