Gated Estates May Enforce Speed Limits

by Shaista Meeha
6th Dec 2019

Gated Estates May Enforce Speed Limits

MOUNT EDGECOMBE COUNTRY CLUB ESTATE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION II (RF) NPC V SINGH & OTHERS (323/2018) [2019] ZASCA 30

This recent case dealt with speeding offences on roads within a gated community. The question raised was in relation to the Management Association’s authority to enforce the rules pertaining to speeding offences by residents and visitors.

Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate Management Association II (RF) NPC (“the Association”) appealed the High Court decision of the Kwazulu-Natal Division which held in favour of the resident. The main issue to be determined by the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) was whether the rules of the Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate relating to speed limits were lawful and valid in accordance with the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996.

The home owners of the estate are obliged to be part of the Association. In terms of the management rules the speed limit on all of the roads within the estate was to be 40 km/h.

In October 2013, the daughter of the first respondent was issued with three contravention notices for exceeding the speed limit. The Association also imposed financial penalties for these contraventions. The first respondent refused to pay and deemed such penalties invalid and unlawful. As a result of such non-compliance the Association deactivated the access cards and biometric access of the first respondent and his family members.

The SCA held that the roads in the Estate were private roads particularly because the general public did not have access to the roads in the Estate.

The SCA further held the relationship between the Association and the respondents was contractual in nature and the conduct rules, and the restrictions imposed by them, are private ones, entered into voluntarily when an owner elects to buy property within the estate. Therefore, the control of the speed limit within the estate fell within the provisions of the contract concluded between the Association and the owners of the properties within the estate.

The SCA came to the conclusion that the rules of the Association are enforceable between the parties. There was consensus at all times between the Association and the home owners of the estate in respect of the speed limit being 40 km/h. After having dealt with the facts, the act and regulations the SCA found in favour of the Association and ruled that the home owners have to abide by the rules of the Association provided it is within the provisions of the act.

*Please note that this is a summary of the facts and the decision.

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