City of Cape Town issues warning against illegal events

Aron Hyman Reporter
Some illegal event organisers have been fined for flouting the Disaster Management Act regulations and the Liquor Act. Stock photo.
Some illegal event organisers have been fined for flouting the Disaster Management Act regulations and the Liquor Act. Stock photo.
Image: 123rf/Jakub Godja

The City of Cape Town warned on Sunday it would intensify its clampdown on illegal events in the coming weeks.

The city said its events department had over the past five months identified 49 planned “unpermitted events” through social media and tip-offs, leading to the arrest of some event organisers.

The events permit office had issued a number of warning letters to event organisers which resulted in eight of them submitting applications for permits while five others decided to cancel planned events.

“During a site inspection at a venue in Salt River in June, an event organiser was found hosting an event without a permit. He was detained and fined R3,500 for contravening the Disaster Management Act regulations and the Liquor Act for the sale of alcohol without having a liquor licence,” the city said in a statement.

“In March, another event organiser was fined R4,000 for hosting an unpermitted event in the CBD and contravening multiple laws including the Liquor Act by serving alcohol without a liquor licence.”

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the events permit office was constantly receiving complaints about illegal events and it was important  to beef up enforcement operations against them.

“It is especially important now, when we want to recover from the pandemic, to clamp down on these potential superspreader events which don’t comply with the regulations aimed at keeping patrons safe,” said Smith.

“Another problem with these illegal events is that because they happen under the cover of darkness, without recognised regulations measures, they are a breeding ground for other illegal activity including drugs, violence and sexual assault.

“We do not want to close down businesses but we want people to be compliant and for the city’s residents to know that when they go to events they are going to be safe,” he said.

The city's events department has protocols for hosting safe events during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The protocols document is available on the city’s website. The protocols apply across all levels of the national state of disaster.

“The events department urges members of the public to report any events they suspect to be illegal or unpermitted because they pose a risk to you and your loved ones,” said the city.

Residents can report illegal events by emailing events.permit@capetown.gov.za or by calling the city’s events permit office on 021 417 4035.

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