South African By-laws

Style guide for municipal by-laws in South Africa.

Short titles

Because by-laws in South Africa are often missing a ‘short title’ section, and because they’re inconsistent with regard to casing, the placement of ‘by-law’, the inclusion of the municipality, etc., we’ve decided to standardise the titles for by-laws in the following ways:

  1. Exclude By-law relating to the or any part thereof.

    • By-law relating to the Keeping of Dogs → Keeping of Dogs

    • By-law relating to Animals → Animals

  2. Exclude B/by-law/s at the end of the title.

    • Animal by-law → Animal

    • Guns, Germs and Steel By-laws → Guns, Germs and Steel

  3. Exclude of the XYZ Municipality or similar.

    • Liquor by-law of the Cape Town Metro Municipality → Liquor

    • Cape Town: Liquor by-law → Liquor

    • Air Quality By-law of the Swartland Municipality → Air Quality

  4. Include e.g. (Municipal Council of Piketberg) in brackets at the end of the title if this is a more local council / municipality than the (e.g. District) Municipality you’re working in.

  5. Use lower case for these words: of, and, in, the, for, on.

  6. Capitalise the first letter of all other words.

  7. For stubs, use the name of the principal work followed by ': Commencement' / ': Amendment' / ': Repeal' – see for examples.

Example of by-law titles

  • Electricity Supply

  • Fire Safety

  • Keeping of Bees

  • Municipal Planning

  • Property Rates

  • Rates

  • Street Trading

  • Tariff

Cleaning up a by-law

Please remove the names and titles of officers, eg. DR J H LEIBBRANDT, CITY MANAGER

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