GPCID 24/7 emergency number: 082 214 3228

OKCID 24/7 emergency number: 082 217 1386

Amended & new by-laws to affect pet owners & motorists

Sourced from IOL.

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Portfolio Committee unanimously approved four new and amended by-laws at its monthly meeting on 1 September 2021.

Three of the new by-laws are amendments to the traffic by-law, animal-keeping by-law and the by-law relating to streets, public places and prevention of noise nuisances. The fourth by-law is the new unlawful occupation by-law.

All four by-laws went through a process of public participation before being finalised for approval by the committee. Next, the documents will serve before the mayoral committee, and then final approval will need to be obtained from full council.

Animal keeping by-law

The animal keeping by-law has been in place since 2021, and has served as a guide to pet ownership, the welfare to working equines and more.

The City has said that the updated by-law is far more comprehensive, and provides a very clear guide to animal owners or caregivers, breeders of animals and the public at large, around how to apply the duty of care principle to all animals within the City’s jurisdiction. 

“While the existing provisions around the number of animals to be kept on specific properties and animal sterilisation, among others, are retained and strengthened, the amended by-law includes specific sections relating to dog fighting, the keeping of other categories of animals like bees, and expands the scope of the legislation to include places of business like pet parlours, pet day care centres and hotels, as well as persons operating in the animal welfare sector,” the City said.

Traffic by-law

The traffic by-law was first introduced in 2011, to provide for the regulation of public transport vehicles and traffic within the city’s jurisdiction, as provided for in the Constitution.

Among the additions to the by-law, are those dealing with the powers and duties of authorised officials, equipment on or in respect of vehicles, animals and driving while under the influence.

The amended by-law also makes provision for the impoundment of vehicles in certain instances, as has been the case with public transport vehicles for many years.

Impoundment of public transport and private vehicles will take place in instances where drivers are under the influence of alcohol, drive in a reckless and/or negligent manner or participate in illegal street racing.

The amended by-law also solidifies regulations around public transport, and allows for clearer regulation of the e-hailing sector by requiring that such vehicles are clearly marked and displaying their operating licences.

Streets, public places and prevention of noise by-law

The by-law relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances has been in existence since 2007 and aligns with similar pieces of legislation in other metropolitan municipalities around the country.

The amendments to the by-law focus on the enforcement of the provisions in the legislation, and explicitly set out the powers of the City’s authorised officials, while also providing for measures to prevent the abuse of those powers.

“The amendments are designed to help resolve complaints more effectively, but also mitigate risks to the City, individuals and landowners by ensuring necessary and ongoing enforcement actions are supported by legislation,” the City said.

To ensure the prohibition is enforced humanely, and in compliance with the Constitution, the by-law has been amended to provide for the following:

  • A person found sleeping in a public place without authority will first be issued with a compliance notice;
  • Such a person only commits an offence if the person refuses a reasonable offer of alternative shelter;
  • A court may not sentence a guilty person to prison. It may only fine the person.

“Therefore, any concerns about the impact of the amendments on persons living on the street should be considered together with the primary focus of the city to first offer social interventions before enforcement actions take place,” it said.

“The city has an obligation to make sure that our public open spaces and our city remain sustainable, that there is equality before the law, and that while we are offering assistance to help people off the streets, our by-laws are being applied to everybody at the same time.”

Unlawful occupation by-law

Unlawful occupation is already illegal but national legislation does not create effective prohibitions against the actions involved in invading the land and building structures.

“There are also large gaps in the PIE Act due to the failure by national government to promulgate regulations in terms of the act. This by-law aims to enable the City to enhance its management of informality through the Managed Settlements Programme, and to prevent the unlawful occupation of land and buildings,” the City said.

“Apart from the health and safety hazards associated with settling on land that is unsuitable for habitation, unlawful occupation hampers planned projects and programmes, results in disruptions to basic services as settlements are situated on top of bulk services infrastructure, and also impacts on the environmental health of waterways.”

The City added that the by-law explicitly states the existing powers of law enforcement to protect land from illegal occupation, but does not grant new powers nor does it provide for any sanctions other than what already exists in law.

“In fact, this by-law is pioneering in that it emphasizes the fundamental rights of persons and imposes a duty on officers to intervene in situations where abuse of power is evident.

“The by-law also supports the City’s discretion to act on behalf of private land owners and other entities when unlawful land occupation occurs, and it imposes certain necessary and reasonable obligations on land owners, both private and public.”

GP/OKCID receives five-year contract renewal

Published on: The Atlantic Sun

Green Point and Oranje-Kloof City Improvement Districts (GP/OKCID) has had its contract renewed for five years by the City of Cape Town.

Chief executive, Marc Truss, says strong relationships with the City, SAPS, Law Enforcement, Traffic and Metro police have always formed the foundation of everything they do.

“However, what gives us our sustainable competitive advantage is that we’re able to build relationships with individual business owners and residents in our area, and support them in various ways when they need help.

“Looking forward, we want to make sure that everyone in our areas knows about the GP/OKCID, what we do and that they are always welcome to contact us. For example, if they have a flat battery in their car and need it to be jump-started; to clear overgrown trees or litter on their street; or for responsive 24/7 security assistance should they feel at risk.

“This real-time correspondence with our community allows us to address the issues quickly and effectively, and help make the area a better one to live, work and play for all.”

Mr Truss says additional challenges have developed as a result of the pandemic and the GP/OKCID wants to be part of the solution – whether it’s addressing the issue around homelessness or helping small businesses get back on their feet. “We can do this by leveraging our network and connecting people to those that may be able to help if we can’t do it ourselves.”

GP/OKCID security manager, Marius Swanepoel, says they take a proactive approach to combating crime.

“In the next few years, we plan to use more cameras, increase the number of vehicles we have on the road with active patrols and carry out more crime operations in both areas.”

Ward 115 councillor, Ian McMahon, says Green Point and De Waterkant residents feel comforted the GPCID will offer top-up services for five more years.

“Working so closely with Marc Truss, as councillor, I see the positive impact that is delivered to all in the GPCID area, and added to that is the proposed boundary extension that will shortly happen to offer these services to more residents and businesses of Green Point.”

Contact the GP/OKCID 24/7 patrollers to report suspicious activity or for assistance:

GPCID patrol vehicle (24hr): 082 214 3228

OK CID patrol vehicle (24hr): 082 217 1386

Our response to concerns regarding homelessness and illegal land invasions

The approach to finding sustainable solutions to help the homeless in Cape Town is shifting, especially in light of COVID-19.

The recent High Court judgement against the City and various other parties demonstrates an attempt by authorities to safeguard vulnerable persons across the metropolitan area while we endure this state of disaster. However, the judgement brings into question the impact of illegal informal occupation of land designated for public use.

The High Court interdict means that both the City and private landowners are prevented from demolishing unoccupied informal structures, or evicting people from them. The City are appealing the dangerous High Court interdict which prevents the protection of property from land invasion. They believe that changing this verdict is vital for them to uphold the Rule of Law and protect public land intended for services, housing, community facilities, schools and transport services.

What are we doing?

Our team and board of directors are reaching out to partners, landowners and concerned NGOs. We intend to coordinate a plan of action so that we can respond to, and rectify, the issue of the construction of illegal informal structures.

COVID-19 has taught us many things, not least the benefit of being more focused on our own communities. As the pandemic continues to affect the day to day activities and movements of the public under lockdown, there is growing concern over what our team are doing for the homeless and unemployed.

Our CEO, Marc Truss, explains how the GP/OKCID is dealing with the current homelessness situation in the Green Point and Oranje-Kloof areas: “Because of the High Court interdict preventing landowners from exercising their right to remove empty, unoccupied structures as a means of protecting property from invasion, we’re trying to work with, advise, and guide the homeless. We’re trying to communicate that we’re not hard and inflexible – we listen and offer solutions. We speak to the homeless and explain that we can’t give them a place to live, but to live on the street means they have to clean up after themselves. Those who don’t abide by this are warned, and as a final action, arrested. This has been working in the meantime.”

What you can do?

The most effective way for you to help the homeless is to give responsibly. Jane Meyer, MPRA coordinator, explains that giving responsibly means donating to NGOs and other organisations committed to helping the homeless, such as night shelters, rather than giving ad hoc donations to the homeless on the streets. By donating to shelters such as The Haven Night Shelter on Napier Street or the City’s Space in Culemborg and NGOs like Ladles of Love or RPJ Helping Hands, residents support assistance to, but also the continued social development, of the homeless. Read our recent blog post for more information on how you can help contribute to sustainable solutions.

Should you witness the start of illegal invasions of land or informal structures being constructed, please immediately call 107 (from a landline) or 021 480 7700 (from a cell phone) as the structure can only be removed if Law Enforcement arrive whilst it is being put up.

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