Job Details

  • Reference number: E220325
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: August 23rd

Background to Position

Applications are invited for this full-time contract position, for a period of five years, with the possibility of renewal for a second term.

The Ombud role has a long and honourable tradition as a safeguard against abuse, bias and other improper treatment or unfairness. Serving as a designated independent, neutral, and impartial dispute resolution practitioner, the Ombud is neither an advocate for any individual nor the organisation, but rather, an advocate for fairness who acts as a source of information and referral, aids in answering individuals’ questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and the development of critical solutions. This office supplements, but does not replace, the University’s existing resources for conflict resolution.

The Ombud function is independent of existing administrative structures and is accountable to the University Council but will be expected to communicate with the Vice-Chancellor on a regular basis. 

Job Description

The appointee will be responsible for:

• Dispute resolution/consultation and referral, including the provision of confidential consultation to aggrieved members of the University community and assisting with the interpretation of University policies/procedures.

• Facilitating communication among parties in conflict.

• Policy analysis and feedback, inter alia making appropriate recommendations for policies or practices that would reduce or eliminate recurring grievances.

• Ongoing education and communication about the Office’s role to all potential inquirers as well as to University leadership.

• Culture and climate engagement.

• Supervising the work of the Associate Ombud and Administrative Assistant.

• Ensure that the Office of the Ombud meets its objectives and stakeholders’ needs, and that the unit has an optimal staff complement and resources.

Inherent Criteria

Requirements for the position:

The Ombud’s perspective draws from a career that has been diverse and challenging. The Ombud should be a person who is able to diffuse tensions, engage in problem-solving and alternative dispute resolution. They should be trustworthy, ethical, and able to demonstrate empathy and understanding. The Ombud should be able to communicate difficult and complex matters and speak truth to power. It is expected that the Ombud will understand social justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion within the context of the university as well as national and international policies and regulations on these issues.

In addition to the afore-mentioned the suitable candidate will be required to fulfil a combination of the following requirements:

•  A relevant NQF 8 (Honours Degree) or sufficient experience to have the equivalent knowledge and expertise.

•  A minimum of 10 years professional experience, preferably in Higher Education or experience as an Ombud in an organisation.

•  Understands the role and requirements of an organisational Ombud.

•  Is trained and has substantial experience in dispute and conflict resolution.

•  Is able to engage in policy analysis and review, including demonstrable understanding of administrative justice processes.

•  Understands university contexts, governance processes, constituencies, and stakeholders.

•  Understands institutional cultures and climates and the policies, procedures and behaviours that impact on the culture of the university. 

The following will be desirable for the position:

•  An advanced degree and/or other relevant postgraduate qualification.

•  A legal background.

•  Mediation certification.

•  Proficient in three or more official South African languages 

Critical Skills and Characteristics:

•  Communication and Problem-Solving Skills

•  Decision Making/Strategic Thinking Skills

•  Conflict Resolution Skills

• Networking Skills

•  Sensitivity to Diversity Issues • Composure and Presentation Skills • Emotional Intelligence • Integrity • Honesty in handling finances.

Application Requirement

The 2022 annual cost of employment, including benefits, is appropriate to the Senior Professional Administrative and Support Staff level and is negotiable, depending on qualifications, competence and experience.

To apply, please e-mail the below documents (ideally in a single pdf file) to Mr Craig Alexander.

- A covering letter which addresses the above criteria, including a statement on your potential contribution to the Ombud position;

- Your full curriculum vitae with the names and contact details of three relevant referees from recent past positions;

- The HR201 application form available at:

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.

An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and will be required to undergo assessments.

Telephone: 021 650 5429


Reference number: E220325

Closing date: 05 September 2022

UCT is a designated employer and is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity, and redress in achieving its equity targets in accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets.

Preference will be given to candidates from the under-represented designated groups including candidates with disabilities.

Our Employment Equity Policy is available at

The University reserves the right to extend the closing date if deemed necessary and reserves the right to make no appointment.

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys. The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north – and the resulting demand for skills in mining – gave it the financial boost it needed to grow. The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government.