Many pet owners appear to be unaware of the legal provisions for the keeping of cats and dogs in the Overstrand. Did you know, for example, that your fluffy canine needs to be licensed? Or that you are not allowed to keep more than two dogs and three cats without consent from the municipality?


Your lovable canine needs to be licensed. In accordance with the Overstrand Municipality’s By-law Relating to the Keeping of Dogs and Cats, owners of dogs are required to have their dog (or dogs) registered and are required to pay an annual tax for them. This provision does not apply to the keeping of cats.  

In terms of the by-law referred to above, a maximum of two dogs and three cats are allowed to be kept on any erf or premises without the prior consent of the municipality – although they still have to be registered with the municipality.

Unless dog and cat owners apply for a special permit, they will not be allowed to keep more than two dogs or more than three cats on any erf or premises. The failure to be in possession of such a permit constitutes a violation of the by-law.  The special permit may not be transferred when a pet dies or is lost or disposed of.

The provisions of the by-law do not apply to premises that are used as veterinary clinics and/or veterinary hospitals or for the training of guide dogs for the blind or dog breeders who have written consent from Council to keep more than two dogs on any erf. These provisions are also not applicable where dogs are kept for security services/training purposes.

Fees and forms

The annual tax which is payable currently amounts to R86 per dog; social pensioners and indigent people may apply to the municipality for exemption. Application forms can be obtained from the offices of the Area Managers at Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai Administrations.

Barking, whimpering and howling

In terms of section 4(b) of the by-law a person may not keep a dog (or dogs) that barks, or whimpers or howls to such an extent that it causes an unreasonable disturbance or nuisance to other people in the neighbourhood. A person who wishes to file a complaint regarding a dog causing a nuisance or disturbance may do so by contacting the Law Enforcement Department of the Overstrand Municipality at 028 313 8996 during office hours, or the nearest police station. A statement will be taken from the complainant and the matter will be investigated. 

It is the responsibility of a dog owner to control his/her dog, failure of which may constitute an offence which may lead to the provisions of section 15: Offences and Penalties of the by-law being invoked. It is however advisable, prior to filing a complaint, for the complainant to attempt to resolve the matter in an amicable manner by making the transgressing owner aware of the situation. 

Impoundment and claiming of impounded dogs and cats

In terms of section 11 of the by-law, dogs and cats may be impounded by the municipality. In terms of section 13 of the by-law, an owner may claim his/her impounded dog or cat subsequent to having satisfied the requirements of said section, failing which an unclaimed dog or cat may be destroyed or sold. Please refer to the provisions of section 14 of the by-law in this regard.

Scoop the poop

When a dog defecates in a public place or in a public street, dog owners are required to pick up and dispose of said defecation and in this regard should carry with them a suitable container or bag. 

Dogs to be leashed

When in public places or streets, dogs have to be on leashes and under the control of the owner or a person other than the owner, because apart from the fact that the by-law requires it, unleashed dogs are often a nuisance to people whose dogs are leashed and to people who use public places or who walk in public streets – not all people are “dog-people” so to speak.  

Download By-law Relating to the Keeping of Dogs and Cats

The above-mentioned by-law can be viewed on the Municipality’s website at Click on Documents and By-laws.

Dog zoning in Overstrand

If you want to be the first to know about the proposed dog beach zones, please attend the following public meetings:

30 January 2020:
Kleinmond Library Boardroom, Kleinmond, 09:00-11:00

30 January 2020:
Fernkloof Hall, Hermanus, 13:00-15:00

31 January 2020:
Council Chambers, Gansbaai, 09:00-11:00

The proposal is for the introduction of three trial zones – GREEN (off-leash), ORANGE (on-leash) and RED zone (no dogs) on beaches in Hermanus, Gansbaai and Kleinmond.

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