COVID-19 RegulationsSome municipal functions such as public transport, restaurant hours and liquor sales are impacted by recent national COVID-19 regulations.
Read the COVID-19 regulations.
This is the latest version of this By-law.
Air Quality Management By-law, 2016
- Published in Western Cape Provincial Gazette no. 7662 on 17 August 2016
- Commenced on 17 August 2016
- [Up to date as at 5 June 2020]
PreambleWHEREAS everyone has the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being;WHEREAS everyone has the constitutional right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that–a) Prevent pollution and ecological degradation;b) Promote conservation; andc) Secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development;WHEREAS Part B of Schedule 4 of the Constitution lists air pollution as a local government matter to the extent set out in section 155(6)(a) and (7);WHEREAS section 156(1)(a) of the Constitution provides that a municipality has the right to administer local government matters listed in Part B of Schedule 4 and Part B of Schedule 5;WHEREAS section 156(2) of the Constitution provides that a municipality may make and administer by-laws for the effective administration of the matters which it has the right to administer;WHEREAS section 156(5) of the Constitution provides that a municipality has the right to exercise any power concerning a matter reasonably necessary for, or incidental to, the effective performance of its functions;AND WHEREAS the City of Cape Town seeks to ensure management of air quality and the control of air pollution within the area of jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town and to ensure that air pollution is avoided or, where it cannot be altogether avoided, is minimised and remedied.AND NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED by the Council of the City of Cape Town, as follows:-
Definitions and fundamental principles
1. DefinitionsIn this By-law, unless the context indicates otherwise -"Air Quality Act" means the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No. 39 of 2004);"adverse effect" means any actual or potential impact on the environment that impairs or would impair the environment or any aspect of it to an extent that is more than trivial or insignificant;"air pollutant" includes any dust, smoke, fumes or gas that causes or may cause air pollution;"air pollution" means any change in the environment caused by any substance emitted into the atmosphere from any activity, where that change has an adverse effect on human health or well-being or on the composition, resilience and productivity of natural or managed ecosystems, or on materials useful to people, or will have such an effect in the future;"air pollution control zone" means a geographical area declared in terms of section 8 of the By-Law to be an air pollution control zone for purposes of Chapter IV of the By-Law;"air quality management plan" means the air quality management plan referred to in section 15 of the Air Quality Act;"air quality officer" means the air quality officer designated as such in terms of section 14(3) of the Air Quality Act;"ambient air" means "ambient air" as defined in section 1 of the Air Quality Act;"atmosphere" means air that is not enclosed by a building, machine, chimney or other similar structure;"atmospheric emission" or "emission" means any emission or entrainment process emanating from a point, non-point or mobile source, as defined in the Air Quality Act that results in air pollution;"authorised official" means an employee of the City responsible for carrying out any duty or function or exercising any power in terms of this By-law, and includes employees delegated to carry out or exercise such duties, functions or powers;"best practicable environmental option" means the option that provides the most benefit, or causes the least damage to the environment as a whole, at a cost acceptable in the long term as well as in the short term;"burnt metal" means any metal that has had its exterior coating removed by means of burning in any place or device other than an approved incineration device, for the purpose of recovering the metal beneath the exterior coating;"chimney" means any structure or opening of any kind from which or through which air pollutants may be emitted;"City" means the City of Cape Town established by Provincial Notice No. 479 of 2000 in terms of section 12 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998) or any structure or employee of the City acting in terms of delegated authority;"City Manager" means a person appointed by the Council in terms of section 54A of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000);"compression ignition powered vehicle" means a vehicle powered by an internal combustion, compression ignition, diesel or similar fuel engine;"continuing offence" means an offence where the act or omission giving rise to the issuing of a notice has not been repaired, removed or rectified by the expiry of a notice issued in terms of this By-law;"Council" means the Municipal Council of the City;"dark smoke" means-(a)in respect of Chapter V and Chapter VI of this By-law, smoke which, when measured using a light absorption meter, obscuration measuring equipment or other similar equipment, has an obscuration of 20% or greater;(b)in respect of Chapter VIII of this By-law –(i)smoke emitted from the exhaust outlets of naturally aspirated compression ignition engines which has a density of 50 Hartridge smoke units or more or a light absorption co-efficient of more than 1,61 mï1 ; or 18,57 percentage opacity; and(ii)smoke emitted from the exhaust outlets of turbo-charged compression ignition engines which has a density of 56 Hartridge smoke units or more or a light absorption co-efficient of more than 1,91 mï1 ; or 21,57 percentage opacity."directive" means an instruction issued by the delegated authority for a person to perform or cease to perform certain activities in order to prevent any detrimental effect on air quality, health or the environment;"dust" means any solid matter in a fine or disintegrated form which is capable of being dispersed or suspended in the atmosphere;"dwelling" means any building or structure, or part of a building or structure used as a place of temporary or permanent residence, and includes any outbuilding or other structure ancillary to it;"environment" means the surroundings within which humans exist and that are made up of-(a)the land, water and atmosphere of the earth;(b)micro-organisms, plant and animal life;(c)any part or combination of (a) and (b) and the interrelationships among and between them; and(d)the physical, chemical, aesthetic and cultural properties and conditions of the foregoing that influence human health and well-being;"Executive Director: City Health" means the Executive Director of the City responsible for health matters;"free acceleration test" means the testing procedure described in section 23;"fuel-burning equipment" means any installed furnace, boiler, burner, incinerator, smoking device, wood-fired oven, commercial wood or charcoal fired braai, barbecue or other equipment including a chimney–(a)designed to burn or capable of burning liquid, gas or solid fuel;(b)used to dispose of any material including general and hazardous waste by the application of heat at a rate of less than 10 kg of waste per day; or(c)used to subject liquid, gas or solid fuel to any process involving the application of heat;but excludes standby generators and temporary standby generators; domestic fuel-burning equipment; and gas-fired commercial cooking equipment;"light absorption meter" means a measuring device that uses a light sensitive cell or detector to determine the amount of light absorbed by an air pollutant;"living organism" means any biological entity capable of transferring or replicating genetic material, including sterile organisms and viruses;"Municipal Systems Act" means the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000, (Act No. 32 of);"nuisance" means an unreasonable interference or likely interference caused by air pollution which has an adverse impact on -(a)the health or well-being of any person or living organism; or(b)the use and enjoyment by an owner or occupier of his or her property or the environment;"obscuration" means the ratio of visible light attenuated by air pollutants suspended in the effluent streams to incident visible light, expressed as a percentage;"open burning" means the combustion of any material by burning without a chimney to vent the emitted products of combustion to the atmosphere and includes fires for fire safety training purposes, but excludes any recreational or commercial braai, and "burning in the open" has a corresponding meaning;"operator" means a person who owns or manages an undertaking, or who controls an operation or process, which emits air pollutants;"person" means a natural person or a juristic person;"premises" includes-(a)any building or other structure;(b)any adjoining land occupied or used in connection with any activities carried on in that building or structure;(c)any vacant land;(d)any locomotive, ship, boat or other vessel which operates in the jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town; and(e)any State-owned entity or land;"Provincial Government" means the Provincial Government of the Western Cape;"public road" means a road which the public has the right to use;"smoke" means the gases, particulate matter and products of combustion emitted into the atmosphere when material is burned or subjected to heat and includes the soot, grit and gritty particles emitted in smoke;"specialist study" means any scientifically based study relating to air quality conducted by an expert or recognised specialist of appropriate qualifications and competency in the discipline of air quality management;"spray area" means an area or enclosure referred to in section 25 used for spray painting, and "spray booth" has a corresponding meaning;"unauthorised burning" means burning of any material in any place or device on any premises other than in an approved incineration device without obtaining the prior written authorisation of the City; and"vehicle" means any motor car, motor cycle, bus, motor lorry or other conveyance propelled wholly or partly by any volatile spirit, steam, gas or oil, or by any means other than human or animal power.
2. Application of this By-lawThis By-law applies to all properties or premises within the area of jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town.
3. Conflict with other lawsIn the event of any conflict between this By-law and any other by-law or any policy which regulates air pollution, the provisions of this By-law shall prevail in so far as it relates to air quality management.
Duty of care
4. Reasonable measures to prevent air pollution
Designation of the air quality officer
5. Designation or appointment of the air quality officerThe City Manager must, in consultation with the Executive Director: City Health, designate or appoint an employee of the City as the Air Quality Officer to be responsible for co-ordinating matters pertaining to air quality management and granting or rejecting Atmospheric Emission Licences or Provisional Atmospheric Emission Licences in terms of the Air Quality Act within the City’s jurisdiction.
Local emissions standards, norms and standards and smoke control zones
Part 1 – Local emissions standards
6. Legal mandate
Part 2 – Norms and standards
7. Substances identification process
8. Declaration of air pollution control zone
Smoke emissions from premises other than dwellings
9. ApplicationFor the purposes of this Chapter "premises" does not include dwellings.
10. Prohibition of dark smoke from premises
11. Installation of fuel-burning equipment
12. Operation of fuel-burning equipment
13. Periodic Emissions TestingThe authorised official may order the owner of the premises or operator of any fuel-burning equipment capable of burning solid fuels to conduct periodic emissions testing in accordance with the methods prescribed in Schedule 1 of this By-law.
15. Installation and operation of obscuration measuring equipment
16. Monitoring and samplingAn occupier or owner of premises, and the operator of any fuel-burning equipment, who is required to install obscuration measuring equipment in terms of section 15(1) must -(a)record all monitoring and sampling results and maintain a copy of this record for at least four years after obtaining the results;(b)if requested to do so by an authorised official -(i)produce the record of the monitoring and sampling results for inspection; and(ii)provide a written report, in a form and by a date specified by the authorised official, of part or all of the information in the record of the monitoring and sampling results.
17. Temporary exemption
Smoke emissions from dwellings
18. Prohibition of emission of dark smoke from dwellings
Emissions caused by open burning
19. Authorisation of open burning and burning of material
20. Emissions caused by tyre burning and burning of rubber and other material for the recovery of metal
Emissions from compression ignition powered vehicles
21. Prohibition of dark smoke from compression ignition powered vehicles
22. Stopping of vehicles for inspection and testing
23. Testing procedure
24. Repair notice
Emissions that cause a nuisance
25. Prohibition of emissions that cause nuisance
26. Dust emissions
27. Steps to abate nuisanceAt any time, the City may at its own cost take whatever steps it considers necessary in order to remedy the harm caused by the nuisance and prevent a recurrence of it, and may recover the reasonable costs incurred from the person responsible for causing the nuisance.
28. Compliance notice
32. IndemnityThe City shall not be liable for any damage caused to any property or premises by any action or omission on the part of the employees or officials of the City when exercising any function or performing any duty in terms of this By-law, provided that such employees or officials must, when exercising such function or performing such duty, take reasonable steps to prevent any damage to such property or premises.
Offences and penalties
33. Offences and penalties
34. Repeal and savings
35. Short titleThis By-law is called the City of Cape Town: Air Quality Management By-law, 2016.
- Entire By-law
- Chapter I – Definitions and fundamental principles
- Chapter II – Duty of care
- Chapter III – Designation of the air quality officer
- Chapter IV – Local emissions standards, norms and standards and smoke control zones
Chapter V – Smoke emissions from premises other than dwellings
- 9. Application
- 10. Prohibition of dark smoke from premises
- 11. Installation of fuel-burning equipment
- 12. Operation of fuel-burning equipment
- 13. Periodic Emissions Testing
- 14. Presumption
- 15. Installation and operation of obscuration measuring equipment
- 16. Monitoring and sampling
- 17. Temporary exemption
- Chapter VI – Smoke emissions from dwellings
- Chapter VII – Emissions caused by open burning
- Chapter VIII – Emissions from compression ignition powered vehicles
- Chapter IX – Emissions that cause a nuisance
- Chapter X – General matters
- Chapter XI – Offences and penalties
- Schedule 1
- Schedule 2
History of this By-law
17 August 2016 this versionPublished in Western Cape Provincial Gazette no. 7662By-law commences.