City of Cape Town to amend ‘nuisance’ by-laws allowing inspections and search and seizures without a warrant


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The City of Cape Town plans to amend its ‘nuisance’ by-laws which relate to the management of public places, noise nuisances and other incidental matters on all properties within Cape Town, the city said

The city published the new amendments to its streets, public spaces and the prevention of noise nuisances by-law for public comment.

The by-law covers a wide range of incidental matters including offences such as intentionally blocking traffic; begging; using abusive or threatening language in public; relieving themselves, spitting, or performing sexual acts in public; being drunk or under the influence of drugs; causing a disturbance by shouting, screaming or making any other loud or persistent noise or sound; permitting noise from a private residence or business to be audible in a public place; door-to-door collections and more.

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According to BusinessTech below listed are the most notable proposed amendments to the above by-laws as summarised in their report. They include the following”

Instruction to leave the area – “An authorised official may instruct a person who is in contravention of the by-law to leave and remain out of an area where a contravention has taken place.”

Inspections – “An authorised official may enter or inspect any premises or business where there are reasonable grounds for believing that a provision of this by-law has been contravened, or where there has been an allegation that a provision of this by-law has been contravened.”

Search and seizure – “Without a warrant, an officer may stop, enter and search any vessel, vehicle, premises or person for a prima facie (at face value) offence in terms of this by-law occurring.”

Impounding – “An officer may, without a warrant, seize and impound any property, including but not limited to, an item, goods, equipment, vessel or a vehicle which is concerned or is on reasonable grounds believed to be concerned with the commission of an offence in terms of this by-law. The city may sell, donate or dispose of the impounded item if it is forfeited by the court a person does not claim the item.”

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The City of Cape Town said in a statement that the amendments are proposed to ensure more effective resolution of complaints from the public and have taken into account the amended powers that have been afforded to Law Enforcement Officers and aims to expand ways in which the City can recover costs where need be.

The public has until 17 May 2020 to comment. You can read the full proposed amendment below and more on the latest local news, right here.


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8 Comments

  1. The South African Constitution recognises that state authorities should not be permitted untrammelled access to search and seize. It is a necessary incident to democracy that citizens must be protected from unjustified intrusions of privacy and property by agents of the state.

    These people should be arrested and jailed

  2. This is absurd. It is a total violation of freedom and human rights. People of color are already getting harassed without probable cause and these new by laws will further perpetuate the violation of our rights. I do not want to be subjected to such primitive by laws which further regress our evolution. There is no ways this should be allowed along with the state authorities in support of these laws.

  3. That’s why the DA will not win the Western Cape again. These are an infringement on everyone’s rights. You will not be entering my property at all, unless you have a warrent

  4. Going with what Denise says and a LOT of people seem to be in agreement with. “The South African Constitution recognises that state authorities should not be permitted untrammelled access to search and seize. It is a necessary incident to democracy that citizens must be protected from unjustified intrusions of privacy and property by agents of the state.” This is not justified in anyway, at all. There is and will never be reason to trample / crumble / dance upon / bash / take away / destroy / violate our human rights and freedoms. Saying no to this shocking form of violation. No more harassment needed. This is a time for compassion and assistance (not to be confused with force and brutality)

  5. Totally unnecessary!
    Instead of focusing on crime, murders and violenc that is affecting thousands every day they want to make a law regarding noice control? Modifying vechicles are some peoples passion as well as jobs. The “loud” vechicles are some peoples only transport. Taking it away is completely unnecessary en violation of the human rights.

  6. Completely absurd. Against our human rights as South African citizens. Should never be passed.

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