HiI recently moved into a new home which...

Asked by Sumanmaharajh on 19-11-2018 09:09:51
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 250.00

Hi

I recently moved into a new home which is on the banks of the jukskei river. Ever second day or so, sometimes at even 6am there are groups of people that congregate at the river to pray. The problem is that they are extremely loud and disturb the peace for about an hour at a time. It is especially bad on Sundays with multiple groups congregating throughout the day when peace is most needed.

I live in an estate and both the developer of this new estate as well the estate manager said that there isn’t anything that they can do. 

Surely these folk are breaking some bylaw related to noise disturbance?

What are our legal options?

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Information Requested by Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 19-11-2018 10:00:33

Hi there and thank you for your question,

This is a further information request. Please continue in this same question conversation so that I can see your reply.

Are the people meeting inside the borders of the estate, or are they meeting on the other side of the river?

Awaiting your further information.

Att. Patrick

Information provided by client

They meet on the other side of the river.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 19-11-2018 14:17:18

Hi there and thank you for your question,

Unfortunately there is no legislation at present which seeks to prevent people from gathering peacefully, like in your situation. If they were gathering in order to discuss policy of Government, then the Regulation of Gatherings Act 1993 might come to assist you. But if it is only to worship, you're out of luck.

Your municipality might have some regulations pertaining to noise control. You can check with your local municipal office, but I don't think that those regulations will come to your assistance, specifically because the regulations normally speak about noises that one wouldn't expect, and which are continuous, and for extended periods of time, etc. Think of loud heavy metal music at 3am... that's what the regulations seek to stop. Not prayers / singing.

If the singing has only happened recently, then you could apply to court for an interdict to stop them singing because you say that it forms a nuisance. It is a possibility; but you're going to have to convince a Judge that their singing amounts to a nuisance. But, if they were singing there before you bought, then you are going to have a problem with this route.

Other than the above, I don't know what else I can tell you that will give you hope or satisfaction. People are allowed to meet; and pray; and sing. They can do this in public or in private. Any legislation which seeks to stop this from happening could be challenged on Constitutional grounds.

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.

Att. Patrick

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