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It is time to clean up the city streets, says Joburg, which will be removing the many illegal posters marring every surface imaginable in downtown Jozi.
POSTERS offering solutions to all kinds of problems scream at passers-by from building walls, dustbins and streetlights and signage poles in the inner city.


MMC Ruby MathangMMC Ruby MathangHillbrow, Berea, Yeoville and the city centre are littered with bills advertising services from safe abortions to free healing, good luck and great fortune. Between them are advertisements for satellite installations, computer training and driving schools.

Usually stuck up with glue, making them difficult to remove, these posters appear in the most unlikely of places: on road signs, on pavements, on traffic lights and on bollards. They come in all sizes, mostly with print blue and red print.

Contact numbers are placed at the top of the page, and many are fringed with contact numbers that can be easily removed for those who do not have a pen and paper handy to write down the details.

Not only do these advertisements mar the image of buildings and contribute to urban decay, but they are also illegal and a major cause of crime and grime, according to the member of the mayoral committee for development planning and urban management, Ruby Mathang.

Outdoor advertising is governed by the City by-laws, which state that all outdoor ads must be approved by the council and a fee paid before they can legally be stuck up.


Unsightly: an illegal poster on a street poleUnsightly: an illegal poster on a street poleFollowing numerous complaints from residents about these illegal ads, Mathang’s department has “identified all illegal signage and outdoor advertising and the City together with the Sheriff’s Office will be rolling out a programme to remove them without fear or favour”, he says.

His department will not only remove posters, but will put in an extra effort to clean the graffiti that is sprayed across bridges and walls.

“We have to combat the perception that those responsible for unsanctioned activities which undermine the quality of the built environment which necessitates the regeneration of these areas are untouchable,” he adds.

After clamping down on the illegal advertisers, the City will take on illegal building works and land uses. This is because any construction that takes place without the proper town planning affects the sewers, water and electricity supply.

“People also need to recognise that law infringements and disregard for the City’s town planning and building control regulations often lead to depletion of our limited resources to provide basic services to residents of Joburg.”

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