New by-laws for the Ethekwini Municipality are set to kick in Friday, 11 March, that will see citizens facing a R40,000 fine or two years imprisonment for being a “public nuisance”.
Details of the by-laws first emerged in late 2015, when the municipality gazetted the “Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places” by-laws, which will seek to help officials run the city properly by encouraging people to avoid disruptive practices.
Durban is set to play host to the Commonwealth Games of 2022, following a unanimous vote by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in Auckland, New Zealand late last year.
The coastal city will become the first African city to host the prestigious event.
Under the by-law prohibited conduct includes:
- Nuisance behaviour in public places;
- Allowing vegetation on your property to grow out of control;
- Hanging of items on fences, walls, balconies and verandas,
- Conduct regarding vehicles such as washing and repairing vehicles in public spaces;
- Obstructing, blocking or disturbing traffic and pedestrians;
- Excavation in public places;
- Weed-killers, herbicides, poisons and pesticides;
- Vandalism of municipal property and
- Nuisance arising from the use of premises.
“Any person convicted of an offence under this by-law is liable to a fine not exceeding R40,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both the fine and imprisonment.
“In the case of continued offence, an additional fine of an amount not exceeding R200 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 days, for each day on which the offence continues, will be imposed,” eThekwini Municipality said.
The amount of the fine will be determined on the offence committed, it added.
“Abusive, threatening or foul language or gestures will not be tolerated in public spaces. Neither will fighting, urinating or defecating in public.”
“The public will not be allowed to bath or wash in public unless it is part of a religious or cultural ceremony and permission has been sought. Any member of the public caught spitting, performing any sexual act, appearing in the nude or exposing genitalia will also face prosecution.”
The municipality said it will also get tough on public drinking. “Consumption of liquor, being drunk in public, gambling and the use of drugs is forbidden. The public may also not lie down or sleep on any bench, street or sidewalk in a manner that prevents other people from using it. Begging for money or goods with gestures and words is also banned.”
Shouting, screaming or making any other loud, persistent noise including amplified noise is also prohibited.