Dogs in Misty Cliffs
We have a very cordial community and so rather than inviting antagonism by
taking-up dog issues with their owners we obtained from the Area Manager (South)
of the Table Mountain National Park the rules and regulations governing control
The roles and responsibilities of three authorities on the Peninsula are founded in law. The authorities are as follows: Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), South Peninsula Administration of the City of Cape Town (SPA) and CapeNature (formerly Western Cape Nature Conservation Board).
Code of conduct for dog walking in the Table Mountain National Park
- Dogs must be under VOICE or other signal control at all times
- Dog handlers must always carry a leash.
- Dogs must be leashed :-
- if the handler is unable to control the dog or if it is vicious or otherwise dangerous
- while passing through any demarcated area
- at the start of a walk, through car parks and at access points.
- while passing through a picnic and/or braai sites
- when the handler sees indigenous wild life
- on reasonable request by other Park users
- upon instruction from a Park Official
- Dog Handlers must be aware that not everyone is familiar with dogs.
They must have control of their dogs at all times and not allow them to
interfere with the pleasure of others using the Park.
- When meeting a leashed dog, the handler of the unleashed dog should provide
space for both dogs to pass without incident.
- Unleashed dogs must be discouraged from running up to leashed dogs.
Vicious dogs must be muzzled, on request from a Park official.
- Give right of way to people unaccompanied by dogs.
- Dog handlers must be responsible for removing their dog's faeces from
paths, car parks and any other areas used by pedestrians. Faeces
should preferably be removed or deposited in bins, where provided.
- Bitches in heat may not be walked in the Park.
- Dog handlers must ensure that their dogs do not chase or injure wildlife.
- Park notices must be complied with.
- No more than two dogs per person may be taken into the Park except by
special permission from TMNP.
- Dog handlers are to remain on Park-approved paths and tracks at all
times. No new paths may be created and no shortcuts are to be taken.
- TMNP are responsible for managing dogs on their property as per the National Parks
Act 57 of 1976. Section 24 (11) of this Act clearly states that any dog (except a dog
in the lawful possession or custody of an officer or employee) found within a park may
be destroyed. In the TMNP dog owners may however walk their dogs in certain areas
(eg Misty Cliffs) as long as they adhere to the TMNP Dog Walking Code of
Conduct (above) which TMNP staff enforce. Whilst TMNP staff are loathe to destroy
any dog on TMNP property they will not hesitate to do so if a dog is found to be
hunting or disturbing a wild animal. Dogs not hunting or disturbing wild
animals that are found wandering unattended in the TMNP will be caught and taken
to the SPCA. The consequence for repeat offenders is that the dog will be
destroyed. This is not a situation the TMNP staff would wish to find themselves
in, however, failure to act accordingly would mean that the TMNP staff are not
upholding their mandate. Offenders can be reported to
021-780-9100 (Jackie Simon or Amos Lombo).
- SPA is responsible for enforcing the City by-laws. Some of the offences
listed in the Dog Control By Law (PN 675/1979) are: that it is illegal to allow
a dog to wander in public (Section 6,e), it is illegal if a dog causes a traffic
hazard (6,d,iv) and it is illegal for a dog to trespass on private property
(Section 6,d,iii). Offenders can be reported to Fish Hoek Law Enforcement on
021-784-2033 (Inspector Leon McDuling) or Ottery Law Enforcement on 021-703-3075
who will radio Fish Hoek Law Enforcement. Alternatively, if a dog is found
wandering in public or trespassing on private property a member of public can
take the animal to the SPCA and a statement must then be made to Law Enforcement
so that they can issue a fine. After a certain number of fines are issued, Law
Enforcement will issue a "no admission of guilt fine" and the matter then goes
- CapeNature are responsible for the enforcement of the Nature & Environmental
Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974. Section 29 states that no person shall hunt
any animal with the use of a dog, without a permit. "Hunt" is defined in the
Ordinance as - by any means to hunt, to search for, to kill, capture or attempt
to kill or capture or to pursue, to shoot at, poison, be in wait for or willfully
disturb. Offenders may be reported to CapeNature Cape Metro Conservation
Services office on 021-957-5900. If found guilty offenders may be fined up to
R10 000 or receive two years imprisonment or both where protected animals are
concerned (eg, baboons, oyster catchers and otters). The Problem Animal Control
Ordinance No 26 of 1957 lists stray dogs as problem animals. A stray dog is a
dog trespassing on any other property without direct supervision from its
owner or persons delegated by the owner to supervise the dog.
As far as the SPCA is concerned, Inspector Kira Joshua (SPCA - 021-700-4140/1
or firstname.lastname@example.org) has confirmed that any dog found wandering in public
and brought in to the SPCA will not be released to its owner until the SPCA or
SPA Law Enforcement have checked that the owner's property is fully enclosed.
It is quite clear that responsible dog ownership is a requirement throughout
the municipal and nature areas (those in which dogs are permitted) on the
Peninsula. Dog ownership confers special responsibilities in ecologically
sensitive areas, so we request that the Misty Cliffs community please act in a
responsible manner and ensure that dogs are confined to their owners' properties
and that when dogs are taken for a walk they are kept under the immediate control
of their handler. Although the law is clear on this matter we are sure that,
as like-minded conservationists, the Misty Cliffs community and its dog owners
will embrace this request in the spirit in which it is intended - that is, our
shared concern for the well-being of the environment.