Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG): October 2017

Friday, 20 October 2017


Public events in city parks can be a great source of contention at community level. As it is JAG's aim to assist the city's residents with information that may be helpful to them when engaging with the administration and with fellow residents, we thought the following information about applying for permission to organise a public event in one of the city's parks would be of assistance:

Firstly, the organisers need to "send an application to Joburg Metro Police Department to request permission under the Gatherings Act as well as to arrange any traffic assistance (they) may require".

Secondly, they need to "contact the relevant roleplayers (including City Power, Joburg Water, Disaster Management, EMS Fire Safety, Pikitup, the ward committee and the local residents' association) and send the necessary request letters." These have to be followed up to ensure that there are no objections to the event from any of the roleplayers. The ward councillor, who h,eads up the ward committee, needs to provide written consent for public events to take place in city parks. 

An event plan, including details of public liability insurance, environmental health applications relating to food service, toilets, noise etc. and a security/disaster management plan must accompany the application and, in theory, permission to hold a public event in a city park shouldn't be granted by the municipal authorities without a plan of this nature being in place.

Please also note the following provision, which appear on the event application form itself: "All relevant Public Open Space By-Laws (Published in Provincial Gazette Extraordinary No 179 dated 21 May 2004 under notice No.831) and regulations must be adhered to before, during and after the event. (For Public Park By-Laws refer to our website page 5 to page 7 of this document)".

Further information is available on the CoJ's web site:

Monday, 16 October 2017


The Constitutional Court has ruled that municipalities cannot hold new property owners responsible for the historic debt of previous owners. The Court has found that, contrary to claims by municipalities, they are not vested with security for historic debt over a property belonging to a new purchaser.

This will comes as a relief to buyers, many of whom have previously been forced to cough up large and unexpected amounts of money to settle the debts of previous owners in order to have their municipal services connected.

A word of caution, though: the Municipal Systems Act (Act 32 of 2000) prohibits the transfer of a property unless all debts due to the municipality in connection with the property arising over the preceding two years have been fully paid.

So if you're thinking of purchasing a property, be sure to check out whether the municipal bill for that property is in good standing or not.

More about this issue in a blog post by Bruno Simao Attorneys here.