An evaluation of the legal framework governing noise control in South Africa.
Rapid industrialisation in countries around the world has resulted in an increase in various types of pollution. Noise pollution is one example of such pollution. Like other types of pollution, for example water and air pollution, uncontrolled noise pollution can have detrimental consequences for human beings and animals. There is therefore an urgent need to control noise pollution in order to prevent or reduce these negative consequences. This dissertation focuses on the control of noise pollution in South Africa. In chapter one a general background will be provided in order to define and explain what noise is and describe the detrimental effects of uncontrolled noise on human beings. The remainder of the dissertation will critically evaluate the common law and statutory rules that are applicable to the control of noise pollution in South Africa. In addition to discussing the applicable common law and legislation I will also discuss noise pollution from the perspective of human rights by providing a discussion of the environmental right contained in the Bill of Rights. A few decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, where noise was considered to be a factor that breached a fundamental right enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, will also be analysed. Finally, some general conclusions will be made in the chapter five, together with recommendations on possible ways to enhance the current legal regime governing noise pollution control in South Africa.