Noise Complaints

Warm Community


Noise is a perennial problem in the Village – both music from venues (public and private) and the happy sounds of merry patrons on their way home, often in the small hours. Those woken up repeatedly, however, may struggle the retain their sense of humour. And sometimes it’s time to intervene.

In the first instance, it’s always best to try and reason with the offenders. But if you get no response, there’s a clear protocol:

1) Call the CID van: 082 214 3228. They don’t have enforcement capability, but they nevertheless carry a form of authority, and will intervene on behalf of the community.

2) Follow this up with a call to the City’s law enforcement unit: 021 480 7700. A reference number will be sent to your inbox via SMS for follow-up purposes. This reference number should be emailed to the DWCA with a when-where-how-who-what description of the complaint (see the form below).

3) Fill out a DWCA Noise Complaint form (below).

For ongoing issues, lodge a formal complaint with City of Cape Town at CCT Service Request.  Click on “Create Service Request”, then in the GROUP option select “Law Enforcement” , and in the SERVICE option select “Noise Nuisance”. Next step is a description of your issue or complaint, followed by the address. Then you can add any attachments like photos or statements, and then your contact details. Again a reference number will be sent and this is for follow up purposes. Also forward this to DWCA.

For the record, here are the guidelines regarding noise, noise policies and noise by-laws: they are not time-limited (i.e. if someone is blasting the neighbourhood at 2pm, they are breaking the bylaw just as much as if they were doing it at 2am).

Noise Nuisance

As per the City’s Noise Bylaws 3:
“No person shall in a public place (which includes streets, sidewalks, street decks or roof decks)
(a) Cause or permit to be caused a disturbance by shouting, screaming, or making any loud or persistent noise or sound, including amplified noise or sound; or
(b) permit noise from a private residence or business to be audible in a public place, except for the purposes of loudspeaker announcements for public meetings or due to the actions of street entertainers.”

It is the responsibility of any establishment be compliant (i.e. they can’t blame the patrons).

Outdoor Speakers

Outdoor speakers, loud hailers and amplified music are not permitted within or adjacent to a residential area in outdoor areas including:

– Roof decks
– Outdoor decks
– In public places (streets, sidewalks)

This is monitored by the city’s Environmental Health department who can enforce removal if reported.


For any venue hosting an event (including parties and special events), an Events Permit must be obtained from the City of Cape Town. These applications are generally referred to the DWCA for comment prior to approval. All relevant requirements (Health and Safety, Fire, Noise Exemptions) must be fulfilled as per City regulations.

Complaints lodged with the City for non-compliance of the above form part of that venue’s permanent record and are then taken into account when business and/or liquor licences are reviewed for renewal.