The City of Johannesburg is coming down hard on illegal outdoor advertisers who have been costing the metro tens of millions of rand in lost revenue every year and creating a safety and environmental hazard.
The City will, with effect from 1 June 2017, implement tough by-laws that will not only regulate the industry but will also result in the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of owners, directors and senior executives of non-complying companies.
It is estimated that about 78% of advertising signs in Johannesburg currently are illegal. This has created a safety hazard for the public and impacts negatively on municipal infrastructure as the erection of such signs cannot always be monitored.
Existing by-laws do not allow for signs and billboards to be erected without the City’s permission. Wrap advertising signs in residential areas are also illegal. However, the provisions of the current by-laws do not go far enough to deter advertisers from contravening them, often leading to protracted court battles at great cost to the City.
The new by-laws – aimed at ensuring a more stringent regulation of outdoor advertising mediums such as posters, billboards and banners – were approved by Council at a recent monthly meeting.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Cllr Funzela Ngobeni said the approval of the draft Outdoor Advertising By-Laws was indicative of the City’s commitment to a clean and safe environment for all members of the public.
MMC Ngobeni said the new draft by-laws would be published in the Provincial Gazette and local newspapers for public comment. He said once the proposed by-laws were published, residents would be encouraged to engage the City by making written submissions for consideration.
Ngobeni said the residents’ input was crucial as they might be affected by the implementation of the by-laws. “These by-laws will enforce and improve the City’s aesthetics. Adherence to the by-laws will improve the safety of pedestrians and motorists. They will also save the City’s infrastructure from accelerated wear and tear,” said Cllr Ngobeni.
He said complying with the by-laws would make communities active citizens and enable them to work with the City in minimising clutter. Ngobeni said the new by-laws would not only reduce the number of illegal signs but would also help the industry realise maximum value on approved signs.
“Advertising should not constitute a danger to property, motorists and pedestrians or obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic or constitute a traffic hazard in general,” said MMC Ngobeni.
Applicants are encouraged to approach the City’s Outdoor Advertising Unit on the 6th floor of the Metro Building in 158 Loveday Street, Braamfontein. The unit can also be contacted on 011 407 6062 or by e-mail Operations Manager Jack Sekgobela on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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