The City of Johannesburg’s vision of building Joburg as a “World Class African City” is being tarnished by illegal advertising signs across its jurisdiction The Joburg Property Company SOC Ltd (JPC), an entity of the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) that manages its immovable property portfolio, which includes outdoor advertising sites, has expressed concerns with the heightened level of illegality taking place in the outdoor advertising space.

“We’re concerned with the lack of accountability by key industry stakeholders in ensuring that advertisements are placed on legal sites. We’re now calling for all media and property owners to collaborate with the City in making sure that we eradicate illegality in the outdoor advertising space. More importantly, we want to educate and inform them on the processes and legislation – walking together on this new journey towards creating a clean City. The residents of Johannesburg should understand the impact this has on the economy and the City’s aesthetics. Illegally placed adverts take revenue out of the City and only aim to enrich a few, failing to address important issues of transformation – we would like to put an end to this”, said Ms. Helen Botes, Chief Executive Officer of the JPC.

The City has made efforts to gain active participation of all industry stakeholders. While the 2009 Outdoor Advertising By-laws are still applicable, the City declared a transitional period to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to declare their advertising assets to the City in order to participate in the dispensation. During this period, the City, working with all stakeholders, aims to rid the sector of illegality and clutter in order to increase its for all while resolving challenges regarding the City’s By-laws without the need for any further litigation.

Non-compliance has significant implications for all industry players. The City is committed to effectively addressing the issues affecting inclusive growth of the sector and to ensure that illegal advertising becomes a thing of the past. Illegal signs, particularly in the public environment, places unnecessary liability on the City due to the risk and imminent danger they pose to the public at large and motorists. The structural safety of these signs is not known to the City as assessment in terms of applicable law would not have taken place.

The City also aims to host a series of discussions with industry stakeholders such as, brand owners (who are the funders of outdoor advertising), media owners, advertising agencies, property owners including the public sector as well as the community at large. These discussions will prioritise the need for collaboration between all stakeholders towards a solution driven approach at tackling illegal outdoor advertising. It is important for industry players to be aware that by actively placing advertisements on unauthorised sites or simply being associated with those who commit the act, they are breaking the law.

While the City is striving for sector transformation and economic viability, the aim is for complete transparency within the outdoor advertising industry where all key players are held accountable.

Helen Botes
Chief Executive Officer
City of Joburg Property Company SOC Ltd (JPC)

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