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SOL WARNING: Take down signs or be fined

The Sol Plaatje Municipality issued a warning that all signs and posters have to be removed within 21 days or transgressors would face legal action as well as a fine, payable per advert, poster or sign.  According to the Municipal Spokes Person, Sello Matsie, illegal signs and advertising contravening local by laws will not be tolerated any longer. “Large banners and signs are prohibited where it obstructs the view of motorists as well as posters that have not been approved by the municipality. Businesses are required to pay a fee to put up marketing signs and posters. Unsolicited advertising posters were already removed at the entrance of Diamond Pavilion mall.”

According to the Advertising, Signs and Disfigurement of the Fronts or Frontages of Streets Control By-Law of 2006 no person shall affix a poster or any sign on the front or frontage of any public road, wall, fence, land, rock, tree or other natural feature, or to the front, frontage or roof of any building without complying with the Sign-age and Advertising by-law, which includes written permission from the municipality.

Anyone displaying posters or signs within the Sol Plaatje Municipal area are urged to familiarise themselves with the by-law to ensure advertising and signs are legal.
Penalties for contravention of the By-law includes imprisonment terms of up to one year as well as fines.  Once a person has been notified of displaying illegal signs or posters, that person will have 21 days in which to remove the advertising, and if not, may face additional imprisonment of 10 days and/or R50 for each day the offence is continued, as well as being liable for any costs and expenses of the Municipality to remove the advertising if they do so.

Key points in the Advertising Signs By-Law

  • All signs facing a public road/area or visible from a public road/area have to comply with the by-law, regardless if the sign is erected on private property or fixed to a privately owned wall or building.  Illuminated signs in shop windows also fall under the by-law.
  • All persons who intend to display or wish to alter an existing sign/poster have to make a written application to the Municipality. (All existing signs also have to comply).
  • The following types of signs are prohibited: Swinging Signs, loose portable signs, Aerial Signs and other signs not rigidly fixed. Signs which are indecent, obscene, repulsive, revolting or of objectionable character.

Exemption from written approval and/or allowed for temporary display on poles, walls and fences.

The exemption is still subject to certain certain terms and conditions in the by-law

  • Signs not exceeding 0.6m2 notifying that the premises is to be sold on a specified date, or that a sale of furniture or household goods is to take place therein on a specified date.
  • Signs not exceeding 0.2m2 notifying only that the premises to which it is attached is for sale or to let. Only 1 such sign may be displayed on any public road frontage of the premises.
  • Signs not exceeding 1.2m2 notifying only the type of trade, business, industry or profession lawfully conducted by any occupant of the premises to which it is attached, and also the name, address and telephone number of such occupant, provided that only 1 such sign per occupant is displayed.
  • Signs not exceeding 1.6m2 advertising a function to be conducted on a specific date on the premises where the sign is displayed,  provided that the function is not for private gain, and the sign is not displayed earlier than 1 month prior to the function.
  • Temporary signs displayed on the occasion of any public thanksgiving, rejoicing or mourning, or any other public function or occasion.
  • Any sign displayed on a vehicle ordinary in motion upon public roads.
  • Any sign painted directly on, or forming part of the permanent fabric of a wall or building.
  • Any sign painted or executed on the glass of windows.
  • Any sign displayed at a premises upon which building preparations are taking place, related to any service being provided or any work being done, or any goods being supplied.
  • Any sign required by law.

Non Compliance

In addition to any offence created by a specific provision of this By-Law, any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this By-law shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a penalty not exceeding –

  • a fine or imprisonment for a period of 1 year or either such fine or such imprisonment or both such fine and such imprisonment
  • in case of  a continuing offence, and additional fine of R50 or an additional period of imprisonment of 10 days or either such additional fine or such additional imprisonment or both such additional fine and imprisonment for each day on which such offence is continued; and
  • a further amount equal to any costs and expenses found by the court to have been incurred by the Municipality as a result of such contravention or failure.
The above extracts are does not cover all conditions and legal implicatons, and is only provided as a quick overview.
Please consult the complete  Advertising, Signs and Disfigurement of the Fronts or Frontages of Streets Control By-Law of 2006

Read the related article in the DFA of 05/11/2015

The DFA 05/11/2015 - Sol Warning - Take down signs

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