eThekwini Starts Again

The eThekwini Municipality has announced this week that they have recently award a tender to remove illegal advertising sites. This by implication means that this will be done without court orders, despite a judgement in February this year</a> that has interdicted the eThekwini from doing exactly that. See a <href=https://www.wonsa.co.za/courts-stopped-officials-illegal-behaviour/>

The city said the move was in a bid to address the number of illegal signs which had been erected throughout the city without proper approval, adding the three year contract, is a result of illegal signs that have “mushroomed at public and privately owned property without approval by the municipality”.

The Head of Development Planning, Environmental and Management Unit, Musa Mbhele said illegal billboards have a negative impact when it comes to attracting tourists and businesses.

“It is for this reason that we have taken this decision to clamp down on illegal billboards to ensure that outdoor advertising is managed properly to create tidy and safe city,” said Mbhele.

The city further added that it regulates all forms of advertising in terms of policy and by-laws. “This to ensure that various organisations and businesses are given equal opportunity to advertise in line with the public safety and reasonable standards of appearance that will not degrade amenities neighbourhoods.”

As long ago as 2002 a full bench of the KZN High Court ruled that city officials may not remove advertising structures without a court order.  In the case of African Billboard Advertising (Pty) Ltd v North and South Central Local Councils, Durban the  High Court ruled that:

The principle applies equally to the rights of public bodies such as municipalities or provincial councils or any similar bodies, and even to State Departments. Individual members of a State Department normally cannot, in the interest of their Department, take the law into their own hands and enforce State rights without the State having made use of the assistance of its judicial Department in order to help it to acquire possession of property to which the State may be entitled.”

The action proposed by the City is in spite of the fact that the 1932 by-laws on which they rely is been under constitutional attack in numerous cases pending before the KZN High Court. Outdoor companies need to be vigilant to prevent this from happening

One thought on “eThekwini Starts Again”

  1. What a joke! They can’t even approve legal boards!

    And to cap it all, they are not prepared to disclose the winner of the tender. The question is if they are not prepared to do this is “did it ever even go to tender” .

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