At last: an app that reports by-law breakers

If you want to report a by-law infringement – such as party noise, building noise, events companies operating without an events permit, businesses operating without a business license, and so on – here’s what to do – and what not to do:

  • Telephone the central call centre on 021 480 7700, stating clearly that you are calling from Marina da Gama – not Muizenberg. This is a central call centre. It is run jointly by the City of Cape Town and Law Enforcement and it is separate from the main City of Cape Town call centre.
  • Specifying Marina da Gama will ensure your complaint is forwarded to the correct Law Enforcement office. In our case, the correct office is located below the overhead walkway at the mouth of Zandvlei in Muizenberg.
  • State your complaint clearly, ask for a reference number and keep it in a safe place.
  • Law Enforcement has assured us that we can expect a timely response. However, if you do not receive a satisfactory response, forward your complaint and reference number to the Marina da Gama Association office on 021 788 3311 and we will pursue the matter on your behalf.
  • Do not call SAPS to report a by-law infringement. As a rule, SAPS deals exclusively with crime; Metro Police deals 50/50 with crime and by-law infringements; Law Enforcement spends 80% of its time on by-law infringements and 20% of its time on crime.

What the law says about noise
The relevant Act governing the by-law legislation on noise is the Provincial Gazette Western Cape Control Regulation Act of 2013, Section 25. According to these regulations, there is no longer a time restriction on noise, excluding on-site construction. The restriction used to apply up to 23h00 in the evening. Now, however, there is a restriction on noise at any time of the day or night. The regulations state that ‘a person may not make a disturbing noise or allow a disturbing noise to be caused.’ In other words: at no time during the day or night may a disturbing noise be made for longer than 10 minutes at a level of 7Dba or above.

On-site construction work can only be carried out between the hours of 08h00 and 17h00 Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 13h00 on Saturday. No work is allowed on Sunday. The first fine for breaking this regulation is R1 000, the second fine is R2 000, and the third offence is automatically a court offence.