JOHANNESBURG - The city of Johannesburg said on Tuesday it had ordered Street Pole Advertising, which operates as Adreach, to remove all advertising from street poles across the municipality.
Numerous street pole adverts on backdoor abortions, penis enlargement procedures and an assortment of other illegal and backstreet activities have proliferated across the city, largely unchecked until now.
Member of the mayoral committee for economic development Leah Knott said the city aimed to reduce the "clutter" and re-introduce control and regulation in outdoor advertising.
The mushrooming of all forms of outdoor advertising had resulted in a dramatic reduction in the value of advertising and made the city look tacky and unsightly, Knott said.
"By reducing outdoor advertising, we will enhance its revenue value to both the city and the advertising companies. This will also give us the opportunity to open up the game to smaller players and ultimately create a more open and transparent advertising arena," she said.
"The current administration acknowledges that Joburg is the only city in the country that has lost control of its outdoor advertising, this level of by-law flouting came about only as a result of the previous administration’s indifference. However, the challenge must be confronted and the wrongs put right."
The Johannesburg Property Company initially issued a notice of termination of its memorandum of agreement with Adreach last month, requiring the company to remove its advertising and repair any resultant damage to city property within 90 days.
Adreach allegedly ignored the notice, resulting in the city issuing a final letter of demand, giving the company 30 days to comply, failing which the council will remove all street pole advertising itself and claim the costs from Adreach.
Knott said Adreach was by no means the only offender, and that almost all outdoor companies were operating illegal signs and billboards to some extent.
"We can only hope that these companies can accept that the days of anarchy have come to an end. Companies that are innovative and adaptable will not fear proper regulation," Knott said.
- African News Agency (ANA)