Home » Governance » Harare to Modernise Noise Bylaws

THE Harare City Council says it will soon be replacing its 1973 noise bylaws in line with international trends.

According to the council, the proposed bylaws shall be aertised in two issues of a newspaper in terms of Section 228 of the Urban Councils Act.

Corporate Services and Housing Director Josephine Ncube said lessons were being drawn from South Africa and Canada both of whom have updated their bylaws.

“It was agreed that although major parts of the bylaws 1195 of 1973 were still relevant it was more proper to come up with a new set of By-laws (2014) comprising the relevant provision from the old bylaws and new provision to cover any gaps to ensure it is in line with current global trends,” she said.

Ncube said the 1973 bylaws had various weaknesses the most obvious being the blanket ban on the making of noise.

“However in reality noise has become rampant in places like Churches and at weddings the proposed bylaws will introduce a section on Temporary Noise Permits, which allow any person wishing to engage in any community event to have the ban on noise waived for a specific period of time,” she said.

She said other countries set conditions for permit holders by granting them reasonable exceptions for specific community activities making it easier for local authorities to enforce the bylaws.

And yet Harare still imposes a complete ban on noise with no right to appeal, something which legal experts say is a violation of residents’ rights as enshrined in the national constitution.

Ncube said: “The new bylaws will provide for an appeal process. In the event that the Director’s decision has aggrieved someone, one can appeal to the Administrative Court against the decision.”

The current bylaws are also silent on what happens to the equipment used in the commission of the offence. But Ncube said the new law will provide for the “impoundment and disposal of unclaimed or illegal equipment.”

She said there shall be a “comprehensive offences and penalties section detailing each and every offence and its correlative attendant sanction making enforcement relatively easier.”

Source : New Zimbabwe