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Approval delays costing us, outdoor advertisers tell Joburg Print E-mail
28 June 2017
                                                                                        Picture by: Adreach

Outdoor advertising companies say the City of Johannesburg is making it difficult for them to operate as delays in the approval of applications are crippling their businesses, causing many of them to lose clients and shed jobs.

This was one of the points made at a public consultative meeting at the Davidsonville Recreation Centre in Roodepoort, Region C, on Monday June 26.

Stakeholders were given the platform to air their views regarding the recently approved draft by-laws aimed at regulating the outdoor advertising industry in Johannesburg more tightly. The by-laws seek to impose tougher fines, including the arrest and imprisonment of owners and directors of non-compliant media companies.

Greg Hayne, owner of On the Road Media, said when applications to advertise were not speedily granted, there were many people who bore brunt. He said media companies waited for up to three months before the City could approve their applications. As a result of the delays, his company was often forced to place many of the contracts on hold, putting his business in jeopardy.

“My company alone employs 16 people, who look after families. The last thing I want to do is to tell them that they no longer have jobs and have to go home,” Hayne said.

He said the delays started when the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC), the City’s property management entity, became involved in the application approval process. “They made it a very difficult process. Due to the fact that this is a very demanding industry, I had to turn down customers who wanted to advertise with us simply because the application process takes much longer and is inconvenient,” he said.

Hayne said this problem was exacerbated by the fact that there were many unlicensed business owners in the industry. “When licensing became a problem, many advertisers ended up operating illegally. Now we have about 35 companies in the city that have trailers and are now causing a major clutter because they are unlicensed. Going forward, we want to see more regulation and we want the city to assure us that all illegal advertisers will be dealt with,” Hayne said.

Jack Sekgobela, Operations Manager of Outdoor Advertising in the City’s Development Planning Department, said: “The truth is that trailer advertising applications should not take more than a month because they are temporary signs. But by allowing clutter, we as the regulator are not creating a conducive business environment for those who want to be in the space of outdoor advertising.

“It is going to be a daunting task but eventually we are going to appoint companies that will remove illegal trailers, posters and gantries until the city is clean,” Sekgobela said.

More than 78% of outdoor advertising in Johannesburg is believed to be illegal. This does not only cost the city millions of rands in lost revenue every year, but it also creates a safety hazard for the public and negatively impacts on the municipal infrastructure.

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Last Updated on 28 June 2017