dog tax hermanus overstrand

Dogs in Hermanus, Overstrand – Photo: Ruen Govender / Flickr

The dog tax: Western Cape municipality slammed for ‘pet licence’ law

Not many tails are wagging in the Overstrand Municipality on Thursday. The so-called ‘dog tax’ has pet owners up in arms – here’s what you need to know.

dog tax hermanus overstrand

Dogs in Hermanus, Overstrand – Photo: Ruen Govender / Flickr

Citizens of the Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape have branded their local council “barking mad”, after the district reminded pet-owners of their responsibilities as per the official by-laws. The so-called “dog tax” charges canine owners a fee for each of their pets, in a bid to licence every individual owner.

It has been clarified that dogs are the only animals which face taxation – at an annual fee of R86 per pooch. Cats are exempt from the tax, but there are a few caveats. For example, the maximum number of felines one person can own without obtaining a permit is three – and the rules are even more stringent for dog owners.

The dog tax in Overstrand – how does it work?

No more than two dogs per-owner are allowed without the proper paperwork being filed first. So, essentially, someone in the Overstrand Municipality with three hounds would have to file for several different licenses. The district posted a reminder of their rules on Facebook – much to the chagrin of their residents:

“Your lovable canine needs to be licensed. Owners of dogs are required to have their pets registered and shall be required to pay an annual tax for them. The annual tax which is payable currently amounts to R86 per dog; social pensioners and indigent people may be excluded upon application to the Municipality.

“Application forms can be obtained from the Offices of the Area Managers at Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai Administrations. It is the responsibility of a dog owner to control their dog, failure of which may constitute an offence which may lead to the provisions of Section 15 of the by-law being invoked.”

Overstrand Municipality on the “dog tax”

Fur-rocious response to controversial ‘pet licences’

The tax is implemented under the official title of By-Laws Relating to the Keeping of Dogs and Cats. The handbook serves to remind locals that not all people are “dog-people”, and tells owners of their responsibilities in terms of leashing, barking and scooping poop.

The Overstrand Municipality is home to the towns of Hermanus and Gansbaai. As well as pensioners, there are a few more exemptions to the list of people who need a dog licence, including:

  • Premises which are used for vetinary treatment.
  • Facilities which train service dogs.
  • Dog breeders (who have the council’s consent).
  • Properties where dogs are kept for security purposes.