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Illegal advertisers face fines

NOTICE: Illegal posters.

KIMBERLEY business owners who make themselves guilty of illegal outdoor advertising in the city can start to expect fines via their municipal accounts.

This is according to the Sol Plaatje Municipality, which said yesterday that it had “noted with concern” the recent rapid increase in illegal advertising in Kimberley.

Several residents have also raised concern about the scourge of illegal posters, sign boards and banners in municipal areas, including pavements, parks and open pieces of veld.

“These illegal posters and boards seem to be erected daily, with the municipality doing nothing about it. It is like businesses can just plant their advertising boards anywhere, without any regard for the law. These irregular, and sometimes even hand-painted, boards create the impression that Kimberley is even more dirty than what it already is. Not only are these sign boards and posters an eyesore, but they are also a distraction to motorists,” one resident said.

Another resident raised concern about the amount of old, rusty and empty billboards that can be seen at all the city’s major entrances.

“These rusty, skeletal boards make it look like you are entering a ghost town – it is really not inviting to be welcomed to Kimberley with a sign board that is almost 15 years old and peeling off,” the resident said.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that illegal advertising had become a “major problem” in Kimberley.

Matsie said that advertising boards and posters, which were erected without by-law compliance and authorisation from the municipality, were not just unsightly and a form of visual pollution but could also negatively affect traffic as they created blind spots and obstructions.

He added that the municipality has a contract with a subcontractor to monitor illegal advertising and implement by-laws where necessary.

“Businesses should know that any illegal signs will be taken down and a fine per poster/sign will be issued on their municipal account for the costs incurred to do so.

“We will track these businesses via the contact details on the posters. These include any signage or advertising boards and poster erected on municipal property, like pavements, street corners, street lights, electricity boxes or even traffic signs,” Matsie said.

He added that illegal advertising tainted the image of the city and called on residents to refrain from this illegal activity or face paying heavy penalties.