Harare City Council has given landlords and property managers 14 days to regularise their billboards after the mushrooming of unregistered advertising boards has cost the city revenue.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
The development comes after Harare Municipal Workers’ Union executive chairperson Cosmas Bungu wrote to council seeking clarity on the management of billboard revenue.
In a Press notice yesterday, council said they allowed a maximum of three billboards per property.
“The City of Harare advises that according to the Harare (Control of Advertising Signs) By-Laws, Statutory Instrument 99 of 2015, you are permitted to erect six billboards on the following properties — commercial, industrial and institutional. Council permits a maximum of three billboards within each property depending on property size,” the notice read.
“Of late, there has been an increase (of billboards) in school yards and church premises without council approval. Be advised that council regulates these and you are, therefore, urged to seek approval before erecting advertising signs.”
Failure to regularise would result in council pulling down the billboards.
In a letter dated January 14, 2016, Bungu said the issue of billboards needed “critical analysis because it is where maladministration is allegedly rampant”.
“All roads are full of billboards, but in actual fact, very few are being billed by council. Many billboard owners are not bringing any revenue to council, but pay to certain unscrupulous individuals within the city and also alleged billboards barons at the city’s expense.
“When this matter was raised inter alia (among other things), our members were threatened with dismissal, resulting in one of the workers’ leaders being hospitalised due to the threats.“