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Zip it up in Durban, or else

21 September 2015 - 02:02 By Matthew Savides

Do not even think about unzipping your pants and taking a wee in public in Durban, because if you do you could find yourself facing a R40,000 fine. Officials have vowed to clamp down on anyone who urinates or defecates publicly as part of their new Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places bylaw, which was promulgated by the council recently.It will be in place and enforced before the December holidays.According to the bylaw, which was published on the eThekwini municipality website last week, citizens and visitors to the coastal city will face harsh punishment if they drink or are drunk in public, gamble in the streets, or sleep or lie down on any bench or pavement "in a manner that prevents other people from using it".The council will also be on the lookout for general vulgarity and mischief."Abusive, threatening or foul language or gestures will not be tolerated in public spaces. Neither will fighting," the municipality said.Performing a sexual act, appearing in the nude or exposing your genitalia is also banned.Oh, and make sure you don't spit, because that is also illegal. Even begging "with gestures or words" will be outlawed.You are also forbidden from airing your dirty laundry. Literally."No person may dry, spread or hang washing, bedding, carpets, rags or any other item in a public place, over a fence or wall which borders the verge of a public road, on premises in such a manner that it is visible from a public road, or on a balcony or veranda in such a manner that it is visible from a public road," chapter 4 of the proposed bylaw states.Anyone who falls foul of the new laws can expect to face a harsh penalty. "Any person convicted of an (offence) is liable to a fine not exceeding R40000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both the fine and imprisonment."According to the municipality, the bylaws will come into effect once the training of officials, including metro police, is completed."The bylaw aims to provide measures to regulate and control conduct or behaviour which causes or is likely to cause discomfort, annoyance or inconvenience to the public, and to prevent it from occurring," the council said...

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