Stop the erosion of our civil liberties by City of Cape Town

Stop the erosion of our civil liberties by City of Cape Town

3 May 2020
Petition to
Dan Plato - Mayor of Cape Town and 1 other
Signatures: 4,307Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Observatory Civic Association

All around the world, communities are grappling with the impacts of COVID-19. Some countries have gone the militarised route, other have denied what is happening, whereas some have found inspirational leadership that recognises that our post-pandemic recovery must be equitable. COVID-19 has exposed deep lines on inequality in South Africa, which is unsustainable and which needs a comprehensive blueprint to addresses our legacy of racial and economic exploitation. We need a blueprint that recognises both the inalienable right to dignity and the capacity of people to show care for their fellow human beings.

But here in the City of Cape Town, we are seeing leadership that believes otherwise. We saw an unthinking and unplanned herding of homeless people to an ill-prepared mass resettlement site in Strandfontein under conditions unsuited for the epidemic. Now we see the City appropriating for itself powers that far outstrip the mandate of its officials in the form of a bylaw amendment. The amendments will give officials the power to search and seize property without a warrant under a bylaw addressing the prevention of noise nuisances and other disturbances in public places and on the streets. Put forward as ‘minor’ amendments, these amendments are not minor at all, and provide public officials with effective carte blanche to act without  restraint under pretext of implementing a by-law that is intended merely to resolve public complaints about noise and delinquency. These amendments are completely disproportionate to what this innocuous bylaw is meant to address. Overreach would NOT even begin to describe the appropriation of draconian powers to city officials without oversight of the courts. The draft Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances By-law is available for viewing at

Write to Mayor Dan Plato to tell him these amendments should be scrapped and that The City must:

- find ways to address noise nuisances and disturbances that are respectful of rights and effective in addressing community concerns. 

- Start engaging and involving communities in how to do this. 

- Learn from the amazing community responses initiated by ordinary people that have created the CAN networks in Cape Town.

- Understand communities can help you, don’t think the iron first will solve our challenges.

Comments, input or recommendations may be submitted by:

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Signatures: 4,307Next Goal: 5,000
Support now


  • Dan Plato - Mayor of Cape Town
  • Mayco members - City of Cape Town