Following numerous complaints from Bedfordview residents, the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) explained the application procedure for proposed billboards and the applicable by-laws.
CoE spokesperson Themba Gadebe said the billboard on Smith Road, which led to the latest flood of complaints from residents and Ward 20 Clr Jill Humphreys, was approved on May 28 this year, subject to certain conditions.
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“The conditions included the structure will not be erected until the lease agreement has been entered into between the applicant and CoE. Approval was subject to the conditions being adhered to within six months from date of receipt of letter of approval. Failing compliance would have resulted in the lapse of approval unless the applicant applied for extension of which extension would have been at the sole discretion of CoE,” said Gadebe.
Gadebe said when applying to erect a billboard, an applicant approaches CoE with a proposal to submit an application in terms of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Billboards and Display of Advertisements by-law 2017.
“The application is evaluated to comply with the by-law. If it complies, the applicant then submits a formal application and pays the necessary fees.
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“The application is circulated to the roads and stormwater department, ward councillors and real estate department for comment. The applicant also needs to obtain a wayleave from roads and stormwater. This will be issued based on comments from various departments and external stakeholders who must confirm their services will not be affected by the construction of the billboard,” said Gadebe.
He said once all comments are received, a recommendation report is prepared to be tabled before the outdoor advertising technical committee. The committee then makes a recommendation to the outdoor advertising management committee.
Gadebe said with recommendations from outdoor advertising technical committee, the outdoor advertising management committee will then table the final recommendation to head of city planning.
“The HOD will approve or reject the application and the outcome will be communicated to the applicant in writing,” said Gadebe.
Gadebe said if a billboard is erected illegally, a contravention notice is issued in terms of Section 56 of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Billboards and Display of Advertisements by-law 2017.
He said CoE has received 54 applications for billboards on road reserves and private properties.
“For the billboard on Smith Street, CoE will enter into a lease agreement with the applicant since the billboard was approved in terms of applicable by-laws.
“A request for feedback was sent to Humphreys on July 18, 2017, and she responded on July 24, 2017, that she does not support the billboard. A response memo dated July 26, 2017, was sent to Humphreys explaining the prescripts of outdoor advertising by-laws,” said Gadebe.