The City of Johannesburg’s new outdoor advertising by-law has been promulgated, or officially put into effect, after it was published in the provincial gazette at the end of May.
MMC for Development Planning, Councillor Reuben Masango, expressed his excitement, 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,” he said.
This by-law is the product of concerns about the misuse of outdoor advertising in the City. 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.
The by-law will see companies facing criminal charges and allow Metro police to take down all illegal advertising. This includes signs on City-owned, public and private property. It was drafted early last year and was open for public consultation in June.
Masango said that 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,” he said.
The City has said that for years, scores of signs were erected without any applications submitted to the City. This, in turn, created a safety hazard for the public, and affected municipal infrastructure. It is estimated that about 78 per cent of all outdoor advertising in Johannesburg is illegal.
“This amounts to possible loss of revenue of at least R500 million per annum,” Masango said.
Aspiring outdoor advertising applicants are encouraged to approach the City’s outdoor advertising unit, located on the 6th floor of the Metro Building in Braamfontein at 158 Loveday Street. The unit can also be contacted on 011 407 6062, or email the operations manager, Jack Sekgobela, on [email protected] Members of the public can also approach and use the unit’s services during consultation times, between 8am and 11am from Monday to Friday.