Municipality responds to noise pollution claims

Local businesses pestering residents with loud music.

12 November 2018 | Government

Clive Lawrence; Health service department manager; “The finalisation of legislation will empower the municipality to do more effective noise pollution control.'

Adolf Kaure

The Swakopmund municipality will put measures in place to deal with disturbing noise levels caused by retailers on Saturday mornings in the central business district.

The health services department’s manager Clive Lawrence said that retailers have to apply to the municipality to play loud music.

“Please be advised that all retailers who wish to use music as a marketing tool on any pavement, are obliged to apply to the municipality for permission to perform this function.”

Lawrenec explained that Swakopmund has a unique and inherited mixed town planning zoning, especially where residential premises are located within the central business district area. This layout often leads to conflicting activities, as the primary land uses differ.

A resident who chose to remain anonymous recently voiced his dissatisfaction via a letter to Erongo about sales promotion activities by local retailers in Nathaniel Maxuilili street which involve the playing of loud music.

“We are in the position to occupy an apartment above some shops in the town center. I recently had to listen to the blistering sound of music provided by one of the shops to the extent that I developed headaches. No one is considered or granted peace. On the weekend, another shop will start again with their DJ and you will be able to hear his voice and music throughout the whole neighbourhood and street. We are subject to their choice of music and the number of decibels they think we need.”

The complainant questioned if these businesses had any respect for the community or neighbours.

"Does this practise actually have any use? It seems to me that the more the economy deteriorates, the harder the music and screaming become. Does the management of the shops think that the one who screams the loudest is going to attract the most customers? I certainly do not think so. I prefer to go to the local mall where you can do shopping and peace and where there is peace and quiet.”

He also wanted to know what had become of good order.

"Did the municipality put all the ‘nuisance by-laws’ out at the back door? Can you begin to control this wickedness or am I asking too much? All we ask is peace and quiet in our beautiful town,”

Lawrence apologised for the noise nuisance and said that there are pending laws which could help alleviate the problem in the town.

“The traffic section of the municipality is the current law enforcers of the organisation and will react to any complaint that disturbs the normal existence of our residents. The health services department has designed a draft set of noise regulations which is currently submitted for vetting after which it will be submitted to the office of the attorney general for submission and approval by the minister of urban and rural development.”

He added that the finalisation of this legislation will empower the municipality to do more effective noise pollution control.

"We apologise for the disturbance on behalf of the creator of the nuisance but rest assured that if reported to the right authority it would have been dealt with.”

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