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Welcome to the City of Cape Town's by-law website. All of the City's by-laws are posted here for viewing by members of the public, residents, visitors businesses and investors. We have also included a listing of draft by-laws for public comment.

What is a by-law?

A by-law is a law that is passed by the Council of a municipality to regulate the affairs and the services it provides within its area of jurisdiction. A municipality derives the powers to pass a by-law from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which gives certain specified powers and competencies to local government as set out in Part B of Schedules 4 and Part B of 5 to the Constitution.

How do by-laws begin?

New by-laws begin as drafts and must comply with the processes as set out in the By-law formulation and approval process plan, as required by the Strategic Policy Unit in the Executive Mayor’s office. The aforementioned document provides a step by step process for the formulation of new by-laws or amendment of existing by-laws. Draft or reviewed by-laws are considered by the relevant decision-making structures once these have met the requirements as set out in the aforementioned process.

A draft version of the by-law is submitted to the Portfolio Committees for discussion and referred for public participation. These are presented to the public via the City’s 24 subcouncils, which provide a forum for written, oral and/or electronic feedback. Once this is complete, they return to the portfolio committee for further refinement, and are then sent on to Council’s Mayoral Committee (Mayco) for debate and possible amendment. After they have been considered by Mayco, it is necessary to ascertain whether they comply with  the constitutional requirement for the publication of by-laws for public comment. Once this is established, they are recommended to Council for approval.

How are by-laws revised?

By-laws are revised by or at the instance of the relevant department and directorate
and are subject to much the same procedure for promulgation as when they are new.

© City of Cape Town, 2015