Part of the Riverhorse Valley Business Estate Management Association’s (RHVBEMA) mandate is to uphold bylaw enforcement in the precinct. This forms part of its aim to combat urban decay through the delivery of supplementary services such as cleaning, greening, maintenance, and security.
A bylaw is a regulation laid down by a city or town’s local authority or municipality to govern people’s behaviour in accordance with societal norms. It includes things like driving within the speed limit, keeping dogs on a leash, picking up after your pet, trading with a permit, and parking in the correct areas.
Nwabisa Mkhize, Head of UrbanMGT’s Southern Operations gave us some clarity around by-law enforcement in the RHVBEMA and what can and can’t be enforced.
Q: What are the challenges the RHVBEMA experiences with bylaws?
A: Challenges vary depending on the area. For example, areas close to a CBD are affected by socio-economic factors such as begging. Bylaw infringements in entertainment areas include loud amplified music in non-compliant establishments, operating beyond licensing regulations, and drinking on the pavements. In an industrial or business area, illegal street trading is one of the major challenges experienced. All of these have a negative knock-on effect on the public realm.
Q: What are the limitations when it comes to the RHVBEMA bylaw enforcement?
A: The biggest limitation is that our security officers have no legal mandate to enforce or charge for bylaw offenses. As a result, we are only able to request compliance and rely on the authority, in this regard being Metro Police/KDM Law Enforcement to enforce bylaw offenses.
Q: What can and can’t we enforce?
A: We are unable to enforce bylaws and only request compliance. With regards to crime, an arrest can be made for Schedule 1 offenses under the Citizen’s Arrest Act.
Q: What should the public know about what the RHVBEMA can do when it comes to by-laws?
A: All bylaw offenses must be reported to the RHVBEMA. We then capture all incidents on our reporting system and use this data when lobbying for support from the authorities and the effective posting of our security personnel. We also encourage businesses and visitors to work with us to ensure bylaw infringements are less frequent.
To report an offense members and the public can call our emergency hotline number [031 569 3125] or contact us via the RHVBEMA website.