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?
Proposals for new by-laws or by-law reviews can come from the public (via their public representatives), from members of Council or from City officials. The City would make a strategic decision on whether the issue that the by-law will address falls within its mandate and whether a by-law would be the appropriate regulatory tool to achieve the proposed outcome. The internal process for the development or review of a by-law is guided by an internal guideline.
When the draft version of a by-law (or by-law amendment) is ready, it is submitted to the relevant Portfolio Committee(s) for discussion and referred for public participation. Draft by-laws/by-law amendments are published for comment and are presented to the public via the City’s 24 subcouncils, which provide a forum for written, oral and/or electronic feedback.
Public comments are considered and incorporated (where appropriate) in a final draft of the by-law/amendments that goes to the relevant portfolio committee for further refinement. Portfolio committees then send the final draft of the by-law/amendments to Council’s Mayoral Committee (Mayco) for debate and possible amendment.
After they have been considered by Mayco, it is necessary to ascertain whether the process has complied with the constitutional requirement for the publication of by-laws for public comment. Once this is established, the by-law/amendments can be 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.