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City of Johannesburg To Charge Protestors To Picket Within its Vicinity

May 17, 2022

By Umamah Bakharia 

Legal experts have called the City of Johannesburg’s imposing of so-called fees to be paid by those intending to exercise the right to protest within its vicinity, bizarre.

The City of Johannesburg says this is in line with the Municipal Systems Act, which gives the City authority and mandates to levy fees for services provided to everyone residing in its vicinity. 

Radio Islam International discusses this further with Sithuthukile Mkhize, senior attorney at the Wits Centre for Applied Legal Studies.

“There are no requirements or preconditions for protestors to pay,” says Mkhize.

Protestors simply have to give notice to the city or municipality of the intention to protest and thereafter follow the processors that are set out in the act to protest.

As such, according to Section 17 of the South African Constitution, ‘Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.’

 

The City of Johannesburg says a tariff determination policy allows the municipal system act to levy fees that the municipalities provide. These include policing services which they provide during a protest.

“They have been unable to say exactly how the fees are actually paid out for the policing services because the fees vary from each protest,” says Mkhize.

She says the levy can be from as little as R250 to R15 000.

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