Enforcement of Municipal By-Laws                                 

The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia provides for the establishment of Local authorities by law. Local governments, however, exist for many decades in Namibia under the Municipal Ordinance, 1963 (Ordinance 13 of 1963) and are now provided for under the Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992. The Local Authorities are normally given power to pass by-laws for the effective administration of their Municipalities, Communities and Villages. It is in the said light that all By-Laws and Regulations are enforced by the City Police.

What are by-laws?

Municipal by-laws are public regulatory laws which apply in a specific municipal area. A local council or municipal government gets its power to pass laws through a law of the national or regional government which specifies what things the town or city may regulate through by-laws. It is therefore a form of delegated legislation within its jurisdiction and specific to those areas mandated by the higher body.

A municipal bylaw is no different than any other national law and it can be enforced with penalties, challenged in court and must comply with other national laws, such as the constitution.

The municipal bylaws are often enforceable through the public justice system, and offenders can be charged with a criminal offence for breach of a bylaw. Common bylaws include vehicle parking and stopping regulations, animal control, building and construction, licensing, noise, zoning and business regulation, as well as management of public recreation areas within the local authority.

Who can enforce by-laws?

The by-laws can be enforced by any person appointed as a peace officer in the employment of that local authority that includes municipal police officer, traffic officer and Namibian Police officer.

Reasons for enforcing by-laws are:

  • To maintain community standards.
  • To improve the quality of life of all residents in the City.
  • To promote a harmonious living environment in the City
  • To ensure public safety.