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City gets tough with illegal outdoor advertisers Print E-mail
12 April 2017

With illegal outdoor advertising costing it tens of millions of rand every year, the City of Johannesburg has moved to toughen its by-laws to ensure the stringent regulation of the erection of billboards, posters, banners and other mediums in the city.

Existing outdoor advertising and billboards 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 by-laws were not sufficient enough to deter advertisers from contravening them, often leading to protracted court battles at great cost to the City.

“It costs the City a lot of time and money to regulate the industry in this manner,” says Jack Sekgobela, the City’s Outdoor Advertising Operations Manager. He says as a result, the City’s by-laws have been amended to classify the erection of illegal posters, billboards and banners, as well as the scrawling of graffiti, as a serious crime.

The new and amended by-laws, which are expected come into effect on 1 June 2017 subject to council approval, also empower the City to remove all illegal outdoor advertising and provide for the possible arrest and prosecution of people – including the directors of companies – who do not comply with them.

Over and above that, all illegal signs erected on private properties will result in the owners of the said properties incurring increased rates.

“Many sections of the by-law have been amended, in particular section 29(3). This means that the City will be removing illegal signs due to non-approvals, not imminent danger,” says Sekgobela.

Through these amended by-laws, Sekgobela says, the City will see a reduction in the number of illegal signs, resulting in maximum value for companies whose signs have been approved by the City. He says adhering to by-laws will be beneficial to both the City and its residents.

Sekgobela adds that complying with the by-laws will minimise clutter and ensure that there is “co-existence between traffic and advertising signs”. “Adherence to advertising by-laws improves the safety of pedestrians and motorists. It also saves the City’s infrastructure from accelerated wear and tear,” says Sekgobela.

Companies that want to advertise legally are requested to approach the Outdoor Advertising Unit on the 6th Floor, Metro Centre, in Braamfontein. The unit can also be contacted on (011) 407-6062 or by e-mailing Sekgobela on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 

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Last Updated on 12 April 2017