19 September 2015

City Clamps Down On Nuisance Behavior In Public Places

Durban residents will have to be on their best behaviour when enforcement of the recently gazetted “Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places” By-law is implemented.

The By-law was recently promulgated and will come into effect later this year. Metro Police which includes enforcement officials are being trained to effectively enforce it.

The By-law aims to provide measures to regulate and control conduct or behaviour which causes or is likely to cause discomfort, annoyance or inconvenience the public and to prevent it from occurring.

It provides a detailed description of prohibited conduct which includes;

• Nuisance behaviour in public places;

• Vegetation; 

• Hanging of items on fences, wall, balconies and verandas, 

• Noise;

• Litter; 

• 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. 

The amount of the fine will be determined on the offence committed.

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 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 prohibited. This however does not apply to noise coming from authorised public meetings, gatherings, congregations or events or an emergency or rescue announcement.

Disturbance of peace is not allowed from Sunday to Thursday between 9.30pm to 7am and on Friday and Saturday between 12am and 8am. Loudspeakers or any sound equipment may not be placed near or at the entrance of premises to make public announcements or lure customers into businesses.

The enforcement and role of officials is covered in detail in the By-law.

• To view the by-law in full visit


Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or