Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

City of Cape Town slated over 'questionable ethics' of proposed by-law amendments

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Apr 23, 2020

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Cape Town – The public have until May 17 to comment on the City’s proposed amendments to the streets, public places and the prevention of noise nuisance by-law.

The by-law relates to the management of public places, noise levels and other incidental matters on all properties within Cape Town, and specifically section 22 of the by-law, which guides the City’s actions on transgressions and the recovery of costs where applicable.

The by-law allows for an authorised official to instruct a person who is in contravention of the by-law to leave and remain out of an area, and without a warrant, to stop, enter and search any vessel, vehicle, premises or person for a prima facie offence.

Portfolio committee chairperson Mzwakhe Nqavashe said the amendments were proposed to ensure a more effective resolution to complaints from the public.

“It is important to point out that there are no other amendments proposed to the original provisions of the by-law. We encourage residents to engage with the amendments and to provide feedback before the closing date.

“The City’s safety and security portfolio committee will consider all contributions received after the deadline for submissions closes.”

Stop Coct founder Sandra Dickson said a call for the public to comment during the lockdown was opportunistic and the ethics were questionable, especially since the amendments to this by-law were mainly in favour of the City, to recover costs in relation to noise.

“Many people who may be affected by these amendments do not have access to the City website to get the changes, libraries are closed, hard copies of these changes cannot be obtained.

“It is also questionable that reports such as the Dam Level Report and the Monthly Financial Monitoring Report are not published by the City while the call for public participation is still sent out.”

A Facebook user commented: " So while the world is burning and people are going hungry, the City Of Cape Town wants to update their by-laws related to public spaces. 

"They want the power to arrest without a warrant, enter any private property without a warrant, seize any property without a warrant, including your home, and if you want it back you must pay a recovery cost. 

"Yes. You read that right. During all the k*k we have going on, they want to sneak through new by-laws that give law enforcement or any authorised City official these powers that even the police don't have."

The draft streets, public places and the prevention of noise nuisances by-law can be viewed via www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay

Comments, input or recommendations may be submitted via e-mail to: [email protected], written submissions to: Leon Wentzel, Law Enforcement Department, Omniforum Building, 94 Van Riebeeck Street, Kuilsriver 7580 and online at: www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay

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