ILLEGAL dumping and illegal street trading are factors that inhibit investment in Johannesburg, city authorities have said. To address this problem, the city embarked on a clean-up campaign that includes taking action against those who break municipal by-laws. The campaign has seen a total of 464 warrants of arrests being issued for numerous legislation and by-law contraventions.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said: “I am happy to announce that the city is making steadfast progress in its effort to ensure the rule of law is applied and maintained through cases being overseen by our municipal courts.
“Through the city’s recently launched Operation Buya Mthetho, I will request that chief of the JMPD, David Tembe, works closely with all key departments such as environmental health, social development, infrastructure services, the city’s legal department and development planning to ensure we hold these contraveners of city by-laws to account.”
Mashaba said he would also personally follow up on current cases to ensure all 464 warrants are executed and that perpetrators are held accountable. He said this operation would be conducted on a daily basis by way of a wardbased raid initiative, the cases being handled by the municipal courts will see a significant increase.
“My administration is committed to providing access to the judicial system desperately needed by our residents and we aim to house our own courts in designated areas closer to local communities,” he said. The city has five municipal courts operating in Randburg, Midrand, Meadowlands, Johannesburg central and Roodepoort from premises provided by the Justice Department.
The city is also looking into the viability of establishing new courts to service areas such as Alexandra and Protea Glen and Orange Farm. Municipal courts are an extension of magistrates courts and oversees cases and the prosecution of traffic offenses and contraventions of municipal by-laws. Due to their specialised nature, they enhance service delivery by fasttracking the turn-around time for court appearances and ensure more successful prosecutions.
Municipal courts further more separate ordinary residents from hardened criminals and incorporate members of the public, enforcement agencies such as JMPD, magistrates, prosecutors, police and interpreters as part of its overall structure. “Having these courts in our local communities will ensure that our residents make it to court, that municipal officials attend court to give testimonies and that matters are not unnecessarily being withdrawn by prosecutors.
“As government, we have the responsibility to create a safe living environment for our residents, which is only possible when the rule of law is adhered to,” Mashaba said. He appealed to residents to respect the city’s by-laws, so the city can attract investment and create employment opportunities for the communities.