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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

SAHRC’s investigation into nightspots’ noise disturbances

The provincial office of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is investigating two local night clubs for alleged human rights violations.

10 December 2019

MBOMBELA – The residents surrounding the liquor establishment, Amakiti Bahati Night Club and Pool Hall, in Alie Van Bergen Street in White River, have reported the institution to the SAHRC.
Ward councillor Tersia Marshall has also received written confirmation from the SAHRC, as the complainant, that her submission about the excessive noise emanating from News Cafe in Mbombela is being investigated.

It first came to light during a municipal council meeting on November 28 that Amakiti Bahati was being investigated. It was also confirmed by the manager of the SAHRC in Brown Street, Eric Mokonyama.
It was further disclosed to the newspaper by a high-ranking official that the SAHRC questioned the City of Mbombela Local Municipality (CMLM) about what they are going to do about the noise disturbances.
A motion from Marshall, to move that the by-law enforcement unit of the municipality be more active over the weekends, in order to curb the sound pollution, was shot down by the mayor, Cllr Sibusiso Mathonsi during the meeting, due to the material financial implications it might have on the City.

Last month Lowvelder reported on how various stakeholders met to discuss the complaints regarding noise pollution. News Café and Coyotes Lounge were named as the main culprits but the disturbances have since died down somewhat.

Lesley Tshishonge, the chief land use and advertising control manager of the CMLM, confirmed that the application of Coyotes Lounge in Anderson Street for amusement land use rights has since been approved.
However, News Café has still not applied for the right in terms of the Nelspruit Town Planning Scheme.

Joseph Ngala, the CMLM spokesman, told Lowvelder that the new noise bylaw was out for public comment until November 25. Upon considering the comments received, the by-law will again serve before council for final approval.
It will make provision for fines and for the confiscation of the devices used to infringe on the rights of others, “but it will not be the all-encompassing solution to all the City’s noise problems,” Ngala said.
Coenraad van den Bergh, the owner of Amakiti Bahati, alleged that he was only informed on Saturday evening of the noise complaint against him by the police. “The complaint is from the apartment building next to our premises. They claim that I have been terrorising them for the past 15 years, but construction of the residential building was only completed in 2008.

He added that he had won the arbitration against the city council in 2008 and reopened his business after taking the required precautions as requested by the council.

News Café has been requested by the SAHRC to respond to the excessive noise allegations by no later than January 8, in terms of the letter addressed to them.

Source: Lowvelder

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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