The Department of Development Planning welcomes the promulgation of the City of Johannesburg Outdoor Advertising By-Laws which was published in the Gauteng Provincial Gazette on 30 May.
Through the new by-laws, the City aims to reduce the number of illegal signs around Johannesburg and help the advertising industry realise maximum value on approved signs.
The City will also be able to work towards improving the aesthetics of its different areas, as well as the safety of the lives of motorists and pedestrians, while also saving the City’s infrastructure from accelerated wear and tear.
For years, scores of signs were erected without any applications submitted to the City and this, in turn, created a safety hazard for the public and affected municipal infrastructure, as such erections could not always be monitored.
It is estimated that about 78 per cent of all outdoor advertising in Johannesburg is illegal and this amounts to a possible loss of revenue of at least R500 million per annum.
Previously, the City regulated the industry by taking matters to court on each contravention as it was unable to remove illegal signs without a court order.
This cost the City time, and money that could be rechannelled to other services.
Section 28 of the by-laws will now give the City authority to remove any illegal or derelict signs, and signs that may pose a danger to motorists and pedestrians, without having to go to court.
This includes signs on City-owned, public and private property.
Media companies and estate agents are among the City’s biggest transgressors, while private landlords erecting signs on the City’s road reserves was identified as a trend in recent years.
Directors of companies refusing to adhere to the City’s newly-amended Outdoor Advertising By-Laws may face possible arrest, while the private owners who erect illegal signs on their properties will be penalised through their property rates.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning, Reuben Masango, expressed his excitement at the promulgation of the Outdoor Advertising By-Laws, adding that it was the last step before the by-laws come into operation.
“I am happy that in just a couple of months, the City will be able to demonstrate, once again, its commitment to have a city where compliance with its by-laws as the order of the day.
“Additionally, the by-laws will make it easier for the City to deal with the abundant illegal advertisements within Johannesburg. This not only brings clutter but contributes to the loss of much-needed revenue for the City,” said Masango.
He added that complying with by-laws affords the immediate communities to be active citizens, and be able to work with the City in minimising clutter and ensuring that there is co-existence of road traffic signs and advertising signs
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