MASERU — The Maseru City Council (MCC) is in an operation to stop shop owners from playing loud music outside their businesses.
The MCC public relations officer, Lintle Moerane, told this paper that the move is phase two of the cleaning campaign around the city.
Moerane said the council is mandated to ensure that there is public decency and that there are no offences against public order hence why MCC will not tolerate the noise made by some clothing shops and supermarkets outside their business.
“We are committed in having a clean environment while also deepening effective systems for improved service delivery and enhanced quality of life in our town,” she said.
She added that MCC can authorise events to perform in front of shops upon their proven assessment that they will not affect the nearby stores and public movement and also business owners have to pay for that.
She said it is within their jurisdiction to manage, develop, protect, restore, enhance and conserve the environment in an ecologically sustainable manner, and improve amenity. Their work is to manage, administer and control.
What we are doing is envisaged in Local Government Act 1997 section 5, subsection (1) which states that; “Subject to sub-section (2), every local authority shall, subject to the powers reserved to or vested in any other authority by this Act, or by any other written law, be the authority, within its administrative limits, charged with the regulation, control and administration of all matters as set out in the first schedule”, she added.
She said those local and foreign business owners were causing unbearable noise to other nearby businesses so they had to stop them because they are also protecting the welfare of other business owners who were complaining.
She further added that Public Health Order no 12 of 1970 Part (VII) (53) prohibits such nuisance as it reads; “No person shall cause a nuisance to continue on any land or premises owned or occupied by him or of which he is in charge which is likely to be injurious or dangerous to health.”
Prohitted are supermarkets, shops and clothing shops whom invite musicians to perform in front of their stores. However, some business owners who are victims of MCC phase two campaign were uncomfortable with what MCC did.
Checkout Supermarket, store manager Peter Britton said, MCC is not working harmoniously with the business sector as they are hardly consulted before such “harsh” decisions are made.
Britton said MCC’s actions affect their business negatively, and as such there will be unemployment if their profits decline since they are highly likely to retrench some workers.
“This weakens not only our business performance but the country’s ability to boost living standards and economic growth,” said Britton.
“MCC is charging us a lot of money if we want to invite musicians to sing near and or in front of our shops, so those musicians are now volunteering and as a result they are also earning relatively better because people are giving them some M20 and more as they sing in front of our shops,” he said.
“We do not charge performers for use of our electricity and premises.
“They in turn promote our products during their performances, so basically we believe that we were helping various people while also advertising our products.”
“We have to pay large sums of money when hiring musicians to perform in front of our shops” he added. Masheane Masheane of Fasion Galore clothing said that they cannot comment on what MCC did because they simply have to obey even if they are unhappy.