The City of Cape Town’s environmental health department has acquired two sound cameras, costing nearly R180 000, to help investigate noise complaints.
The units will be used with existing sound-level meters. Until now, court cases involving noise nuisance complaints relied on decibel readings from sound-level meters.
Now sound cameras will capture both audio and photographic data to be presented with the decibel readings.
“This equipment will be used mainly for noise nuisance complaints. It can be used in a wide range of applications, on condition that it can be practically applied,” said Mayoral committee member for health, Siyabulela Mamkeli.
“The critical aspect though is that the new equipment will help us present better evidence in court cases and will therefore increase the odds of a successful conviction.”
Where someone is found to have violated noise regulations, the City will serve them with a compliance notice to use sound-proofing or stop their activity altogether. Non-compliance can lead to a fine or imprisonment of up to two years upon conviction. The penalties are determined by a magistrate.
Past penalties have typically included an order to soundproof a venue, as well as an admission of guilt fine of R5 000.
* Log noise complaints through the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089.