CALM: Sheikh Riad Fataar
The City of Cape Town has changed its tune about silencing the athaan of a mosque, saying it never instructed the holy place to do so.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Judicial Council has asked Strandfontein residents not to take any action on the issue until it has met with City officials.

This follows a complaint by ONE resident to the City, which resulted in the Masjidus Sauligheen in Seafarer Drive, Bayview, being served a “noise nuisance letter”.

Residents have slammed the City, saying there are “real problems” like rowdy dronk parties to worry about in the area and are calling on the City to take their letter back.

MJC second deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar says: “The Muslim community is grateful for the Bayview Community Policing Forum (CPF) and a local church who are supporting the mosque’s right of broadcasting the athaan via loudspeakers... but ask the community not to take any action before our scheduled meeting on Tuesday”.

Video: Monique Duval/Daily Voice

However, CPF chairwoman Sandy Schuter says there is no stopping the petition signing from taking place on Saturday morning.

“We will meet at the white tent at 10.30am where people can come and sign the petition,” she says.

“There will be no march and no protest but we want to get 5 000 signatures to show the City we support the mosque.”

The notice, sent by the City’s Environmental Health department states: “During announcements/prayer times the loudspeakers are causing a noise nuisance, which is a contravention of the Noise Control Regulations... of the Environmental Conservation Act...”

The mosque is warned, “you are hereby instructed to discontinue the alleged noise nuisance caused by the loudspeakers” or face a penalty.

The mosque is also advised to “submit a Noise Management Plan” written by an accredited acoustic engineer.

Area South mayco member, Zahid Badroodien, on Thursday confirmed that one complaint had been received from a resident in July.

He said officials attempted to take a noise reading at the resident’s house but the wind was too strong.

The same resident complained again in October and the notice was issued last week.

CALM: Sheikh Riad Fataar

Asked what a “legally acceptable” level of noise would be, Badroodien said: “An alleged noise is measured from the point of complaint.

“This means that an ‘acceptable volume’ can only be determined with noise measurements via a sound level meter and can differ from source to source.”

He says the mosque has not been instructed to turn off the athaan and the City will be engaging with the mosque to find an amicable solution.

“The intent of the notice is to inform the mosque of the noise nuisance and that there is a need to implement measures to mitigate or minimise the noise being emitted by the mosque. In this regard, the services of an acoustic engineer may be required,” he said.

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