City serves legal notice on street pole advertising company

The City of Johannesburg has issued a final letter of demand to a popular outdoor advertising company to remove all their advertising from street poles across the City.

Economic Development MMC, Leah Knott said the Joburg Property Company (JPC) issued a notice of termination of its memorandum of agreement with the company in February last year. This notice also required the company to remove its advertising and repair any damage to City property caused by said advertising boards, within 90 days, she said.

“This notice has been ignored, which has resulted in the City issuing a final letter of demand, giving the company 30 days to comply. Failure to comply will result in the City removing all street pole advertising and claiming the costs.”

This is the first decisive move from the City in what Knott called a broader approach to address the so-called anarchy that has come about in the outdoor advertising industry in Joburg.

“The City aims to reduce the ‘clutter’ in Joburg and re-introduce control and regulation in outdoor advertising. The present proliferation of all forms of outdoor advertising has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the value of advertising, brought about duopolies and, worst of all, has made our city look tacky and unsightly.”

The City’s new outdoor advertising by-law is expected to be tabled in council this month. This by-law will hold companies criminally liable for illegal advertising and allow Metro police to take it down. With 78 per cent of outdoor advertising across the City erected illegally, the municipality approved

The City’s outdoor advertising operations manager, Jack Sekgobela, previously said media companies, communes, estate agents, franchises and private homeowners are frequent transgressors.

Knott said that by reducing outdoor advertising, the City will enhance its revenue value to both the City and the advertising companies.

“This will also give us the opportunity to open up the game to smaller players and ultimately create a more open and transparent advertising arena.”

This company, Knott said, is not the only offender, and almost all outdoor companies are operating illegal signs and billboards to some extent.

ALSO READ: New outdoor advertising by-laws may soon be reality 

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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