Durban - Posters and billboards which have been placed anywhere in the city, without the correct permission from eThekwini Municipality, could land the advertiser a fine or a stint in prison or both. 

This is according to city spokesperson, Mayisela Msawakhe, who said residents wanting to put up signs have to obey by-laws. 

He said the bylaw came into effect in July. 

“According to the by-law, an outdoor advertising sign may only be displayed or altered in accordance with the conditions imposed in terms of the municipality’s permit, this by-law and any other applicable law,” he said. 

Msawakhe said the by-laws aimed to regulate outdoor advertising on municipal property and private property to ensure the health and safety of the public and to protect the urban realm and environment.

“The by-law applies to all types of signs such as billboards, ground signs, flat signs, projecting signs, roof signs, sky signs, veranda, balcony, canopy and under-awning signs, posters, banners and flags, aerial advertisements, murals, advertising vehicles, estate agents boards and contractor’s boards, to name a few. Any person who wishes to display an outdoor advertising sign or alter an existing sign, other than an exempted advertising sign, must make a written application to the municipality for a permit to display or alter the sign,” he said. 

He said the by-law states that every application must include the written consent of the owner of the premises on which the outdoor advertising sign is to be displayed, as well as the owner’s written undertaking to be bound by this bylaw and to indemnify the municipality in the event of non-compliance with this bylaw,” he said. 

Msawakhe said failure to comply with a lawful request by an authorised official in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw, constitutes as a contravention of this bylaw.

“Any person convicted of an offence under this bylaw is liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or both such fine and imprisonment,” he said. 

For more information, the bylaw is obtainable on www.durban.gov.za. The general advertising department may be contacted on 031 3117055 for permission to put up a sign and for more information on the requirements.

The Mercury