Share this article:
Cape Town – The City’s contentious Unlawful Occupation by-law and the Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances by-law are among a raft of by-laws approved by the Safety and Security Portfolio Committee.
Other by-laws are amendments to the Traffic by-law and the Animal Keeping by-Law.
Safety and Security Portfolio Committee chairperson Mzwakhe Nqavashe said all four pieces of legislation went through a process of public participation before being finalised for approval.
He said the approval by the Portfolio Committee was the first step, the documents would serve before the Mayoral Committee and the final approval would need to be obtained from the full council.
“As chairperson of the committee that drove these processes, I am incredibly thankful for the inputs we received on these matters. And while they may be wide-ranging in nature, all four by-laws are underpinned by our commitment, as a caring administration, to public safety and safeguarding the rights of all of our residents, as well as our four-legged companions,” said Nqavashe.
However, Ndifuna Ukwazi said it was deeply concerned by the City’s Safety and Security Portfolio Committee’s unanimous decision to approve the amendments to the Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances by-law.
The activist organisation said for the committee to recommend that this by-law be adopted by council when the constitutionality of it was currently being challenged in the Western Cape High Court and Equality Court “flies in the face of basic human rights of Capetonians”.
The organisation also said the Unlawful Occupation by-law was widely condemned by civil society and three UN housing experts.
“The City has not released a second draft of this by-law and thus we can assume the content has not changed despite comment from the public, which undermines the process in itself and included a submission of over 8 000 signatures petitioning against it. We hope that the City Council sees reason and rejects these unconstitutional by-laws,” it said.
Meanwhile SA MAST Animal Clinic director Tamsin Nel said the repeal of the 2010 Animal Keeping by-Law and the introduction of other “long sought after measures” was overdue and a welcome change.
“While I’m sure everyone, regardless of which animal welfare organisation they work for, is celebrating the changes so desperately needed and clamoured for, a by-law is only as strong as its enforcement. Time will tell if this is a public relations exercise or if the City intends to give ‘teeth’ to their words,” said Nel.