Municipality to drop dog licences

2013-09-06 00:00

IT’S been a dog’s week in Pietermaritzburg. First came the good news that dogs will again be allowed at the Botanic Gardens, and now the municipality has announced that dog licences will no longer be needed.

This was the final word at the Executive Committee (Exco) meeting yesterday, where council agreed to scrap dog licensing in the municipality.

“We have come to realise that dog licensing was no long a viable method to generate money for the city, so we are doing away with dog licensing,” said Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi.

Nkosi said that the licensing of dogs would be done away with entirely and that dog nuisance issues relating to noise and health would be dealt with in terms of environmental health legislation.

The report tabled at the Exco suggests that while it is clear from the provisions of the Constitution that the licensing of dogs is a local competency, and while municipalities are legally authorised to promulgate bylaws requiring dog licensing, there is no obligation to do so.

Nkosi said the enforcement of the Dog Ordinance of 1942 from a licensing point of view was no longer financially viable. “The cost of processing a dog licence far exceeds the income that it generates, resulting in a financial loss to council,” he said.

The report indicates that it is estimated that the cost of issuing a dog badge is R95 if one takes the administration processes involved. Compared to the licence fee of R12,50 per dog per year, this represents a considerable loss to council for what should be seen as a revenue-generating income to council.

DA caucus leader Bill Lambert welcomed the ruling, saying, “as we bark away with the dog licensing”, to the laughter of everyone in council.

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