Dullah Omar Institute, Laws.Africa and OpenUp host a Municipal By-laws Workshop

On the 13th July 2019, Laws.Africa together with OpenUp and two students sourced from the Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) successfully hosted a one-day youth orientated By-laws Workshop to the Cape Agulhas Youth Council in Bredasdorp. In attendance were, among others, officials from the Cape Agulhas municipality including the Deputy Mayor.

The workshop commenced with a short introduction provided by Chantal Booy from OpenUp. Thereafter, a two-hour presentation was presented by the two DOI students, Jennica Beukes and Yolanda Bam-Mguye. The presentation focused on informing the youth of the following:

  • What is legislation and how does it relate to ordinary citizens?
  • What are by-laws, and what is their relation to the Constitution, national and provincial government?
  • What municipal functions are covered by by-laws?
  • How by-laws are passed and amended and how residents can participate? 

In addition to this, the students also demonstrated to the youth council how by-laws should be interpreted by dissecting their Refuse Removal By-law of the Cape Agulhas municipality. The youth council as well as others in attendance, raised important questions which led to an active and engaged audience. The information provided by the students was therefore well received. Afterwards, the youth identified issues that they face in their community such as illegal liquor trading, refuse removal and public nuisances. They attempted to resolve these issues using the by-laws of the Cape Agulhas municipality and by applying the information they received during the presentation. The two students also assisted the youth in carrying out this exercise. All of the groups were able to provide insightful contributions on avenues that they can explore to resolve the issues within their communities. 

After the exercise, Greg Kempe from Laws.Africa conducted a presentation to inform participants about Laws.Africa. The participants were informed about the following:

  • What the Laws.Africa platform is and how it connects with the by-laws of the Cape Agulhas municipality
  • Why by-laws need to be kept up to date (on their system)
  • How to create an account on the Laws.Africa platform
  • How to find out which tasks can be done on this platform
  • How to perform a task and submitting it for review on the Laws.Africa platform

The workshop was brought to an end by the Deputy Mayor of the Cape  Agulhas municipality who thanked the team for enabling the youth with the tools that are necessary to participate meaningfully in the affairs of the municipality.