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No more disturbances, says police

   10 November 2017   l   Andries van der Heyde    l   Views: 93   l   4 months ago  


Bela-Bela residents have been complaining regularly regarding noise disturbances at various hours of the day and night.

During the recent rural safety meeting held at the Bela-Bela police station, Col. Lindie Marx, station commander, said: “Enough is enough and the law will now apply.”

It was previously believed that a certain amount of noise was allowed during daytime, but Marx is of the opinion, after taking a closer look at the Bela-Bela municipality’s Systems Act (noise abatement and the prevention of nuisance bylaw) that this belief is null and void.

The bylaw was published in the provincial government gazette and deals primarily with the factors on what is considered to be a public disturbance — whether it be a property, street or the conduct of a resident or a business.

The bylaw states that if a property contains garden litter, rubbish, animal excre-ment, waste material, rubble, scrap metal, disused vehicles, machinery, and disused parts or if the property is used as a dumping site, it is considered as a disturbance.

A public nuisance is classified as any act as a result of omission or condition which is offensive, which can cause injury, is a danger to health, which materially interferes with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public or adversely affects the safety of the public, is also a disturbance.

Examples of such would be properties which are not maintained, is a shelter of vagrants, wild animals or vermin. 

This also includes domestic animals which creates a disturbance to the neighbours by making frequent and excessive noise. 

Not to mention allowing carcasses of dead animal lying around the property.

Properties which are open to the public, but are used for storage that can cause a nuisance is another example, according the bylaw. 

Disturbing the public peace by insistent hooting, wrangling or quarrelling, the gathering of a crowd, a demonstration, fighting or challenging others to a fight, violent behaviour or the striking of objects against one another, loitering, loud music, television sets that emit loud sounds and the advertising of wares through a loudspeaker are more examples.

Surprisingly, according to the bylaw, no person may solicit alms (begging) in any street or public place. 

The use of begging letters to obtain alms is also considered unfavourable.

Failing to refrain from doing the abovementioned, the council may at any time enter the premises or meet with the offender to ensure compliance with the bylaw and give notice for the responsible party to remove the disturbance.

If not, the council may itself remove the problem. 

The police and the traffic department are considered the enforcers of this bylaw and offenders can be liable to a fine or imprisonment.

Marx said when people report such matters to the police, she urges them to ask for an incident report reference number during the laying of the complaint.

“If any resident experiences disturbances throughout the day they can phone the police. If it does happen that officers are not helpful in this case they can phone me,” said Marx.





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