If a foreign traveller decided to google swear words used in South Africa, they get some rather ridiculous results - which could see them fall foul of a proposed new bylaw in Cape Town.
The city of Cape Town wants to implement a series of new coastal bylaws including the use of indecent language. But which swear words exactly?
While the draft bill is centred largely on public access to beaches – where by “some residents are restricting access to beaches in front of their properties in various ways – read more about that here – there has been a spicy debate around the swearing ban in particular - the public has until 2 September to comment.
It really got us thinking about how the City of Cape Town plans on limiting the use of "indecent language “ and exactly which words would see beach-goers fall foul of the bylaw so to speak?
South Africa’s beaches are world famous. Cape Town has made list after list of the World’s best beaches for its Camps Bay and Clifton beauty in particular - especially with foreign tourists. If one of them decided to Google, ‘South African swear words’, some pretty ridiculous and inaccurate words and phrases come up on the search results page.
"Bliksem" and “Dala what you must” being a few examples and hardly swear words in our books. We of course know words, like the expression coined by endearing mother of Marelize would be considered far more offensive.
Added to that, if this proposed bylaw is passed, what’s going to happen to some unfortunate Dutch person when they start regaling you about their losloopende poes back home (free-roaming cat) for example or the expression of visiting your “aangenaaide familie” (Stitched on family, it's a thing)!?
Admittedly, there are a some hard and fast laws that tourists have to deal with the world over. Singapore for example is stringent on chewing gum, as well as smoking in public with possible fines of up to $1 000.
In Thailand there is a weird law against leaving home without underwear, while in Russian it is possible to be fined for having a dirty car. And in a similar vein, singing obscene songs is a no-go in Australian cities of Adelaide and Melbourne.
But exactly how some of the more ridiculous rules are monitored though is anybody's guess.
(Source for weird rules: Cheapflights)