Be Warned: Urinating in Public A Criminal Offence in Manzini City
…With effect from September, offenders will be made to pay E200 fine or hauled before court
The Municipal Council of Manzini would like to remind citizens that urinating in public is a criminal offence. Citizens are urged to make use of the available public toilets for such purposes instead of performing this indecent and degrading act. The City of Manzini has a number of public toilets located in strategic areas within the city centre and the payable user fee is 70 cents. Two of the facilities are located within the Manzini Main Bus Rank, one is located within the President Centre shopping complex, one is located within the King Somhlolo Park, one is within the Manzini Main Market whilst another is situated within the Satellite Bus Rank. As a measure to increase the number of public toilets in the city, the Municipality is in the process of constructing a new one within Pendray Park in Trelawney Park. Regulation 38(a) of the Urban Government Regulations, 1969, states that “no person shall, in any street or place of public resort or in any place within sight or hearing of the persons therein, commit any indecent or immoral gesture or act, or wilfully and obscenely expose his person”. Subsection (f) of the same regulation states that “no person shall commit a nuisance by depositing human excrement or urine in any place not set aside or appointed for such purpose”.
The Urban Government Regulations prescribe a fine not exceeding E200 or six months imprisonment or both against offenders. It is worth-mentioning that the Municipality, through a private security company, does take action against people who happen to be caught urinating in public. Those caught are taken to the police station where they are made to pay E60 admission-of-guilt fines. In the last three months, for instance, a total of 84 people were nabbed for committing this offence and were made to pay admission-of-guilt fines by the police. In view of the fact that the indecent and illegal practice continues to prevail in the city despite the measures taken to clamp it down, the Municipality, working together with the Royal Eswatini Police Service and the Magistrates’ Courts, has decided to charge the maximum fine of E200 as stipulated in the Regulations as opposed to E60. Therefore, with effect from September 2022, anyone caught urinating in public will be given an option to either pay an admission-of-guilt fine of E200 or be hauled before the courts of law. Members of the public are urged to desist from this practice in order to avoid finding themselves in trouble with the law. Stakeholders expressed concern about this indecent behaviour last Saturday during a meeting wherein the Municipality was giving them a progress update regarding delivery of the 2019-2024 Integrated Development Plan (IDP). They implored the Municipality to be more aggressive towards the arrest of such indecent behaviour in the city.
…THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING IDP FEEDBACK, TOWN PLANNING SCHEME MEETINGS
The Municipal Council of Manzini takes this opportunity to express her appreciation to city citizens and all other stakeholders for making time to attend the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Feedback Meeting last Saturday as well as the Town Planning Scheme stakeholder consultation meetings on Sunday (Ward 4) and Tuesday (wards 6 and 12). The comments from stakeholders have been noted with much appreciation and will be considered during decision-making processes within the Municipality. Two more Town Planning Scheme stakeholder consultation meetings are still to be convened; and they will cover wards 9, 10 and 11 as well as wards 1 and 2. Dates for these meetings will be communicated in due course. A Town Planning Scheme is a legal document that, amongst others, guides land use in a city or town. It is the document that spells out which activities can and which ones cannot be permitted in a property within the urban area. The Municipal Council of Manzini, through a professional consultant, is in the process of reviewing the city’s 10-year-old Town Planning Scheme and it is critical that stakeholders be afforded an opportunity to influence it so that it is relevant to their needs.