R1bn fine for unleashed dogs ‘not amusing’

While a municipal sign threatening to issue people with a R1-billion fine if they walk their animals without a leash on Sardinia Bay beach has raised a few laughs, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality was not amused by the gaffe.

The sign warning dog owners who do not keep their pets leashed was upped from a fine of R1 000 when someone (illegally) added six more zeroes.

It was not clear how long the sign had been up, but the municipality fixed the error at the weekend.

Grant Breetzke, a frequent visitor to the beach, said: “There are a lot of people who walk their dogs without a leash on that beach.

“I was hoping the municipality would use all the billion-rand fines to put up a new lifesaving club.”

The Sardinia Bay Lifesaving Club was recently demolished.

“If they are fixing the sign, they should check the spelling as well,” he said, as the word “prohibited” had been misspelt.

Another beach lover, Sue Hoffmann, said she had thought the sign was hilarious.

“I sent a message to a WhatsApp group and we all had a great laugh,” she said.

But municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said they were not amused.

“The fine for walking a dog without a leash is R1 000. The municipality pleads with members of the public to refrain from vandalising property.”

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