Council losing revenue through unbilled billboards

HARARE City Council is losing a lot of potential revenue through billboards erected at private institutions by illegal advertising agencies.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

According to minutes of the environmental management committee chaired by Herbert Gomba approved during Monday’s full council meeting, the local authority said it was losing revenue to unbilled billboards placed on private properties and unregistered companies.

Council said it used to collect $300 000 monthly from 1 103 billboards and the amount rose in recent months due to elections as political parties were putting up banners to canvass support for their candidates.

“Council was receiving an average $300 000 per month from 1 103 billboards owned by the companies mentioned above, street light advertising by MED Lighting Solution and Primedia was under a memorandum of agreement that exchanged public lightning infrastructure with advertising rights,” council minutes read.

“The committee noted that the city only dealt with billboard companies on matters related with allocation of sites, plan approval and billing. The city had no control over nature or frequency of advertisement that were placed on billboards,” the minutes read.

Council stated that the vacant billboards were not a concern for the local authority as companies responsible for them were still to pay rentals according to their allocations.

Meanwhile, council has approved the lease of an 800m² stand at $120 month to televangelist preacher, Tapiwa Freddy for the establishment of a counselling centre for five years.

Minutes of the finance committee stated that the Pentecostal church leader who runs his Goodness and Mercy Ministries in Glen View would meet the advertising and surveying costs as well as road construction costs before the deal is approved.

Council resolved to forgo tender procedures and award the property to the preacher with rentals subject to review.

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