Outdoor advertising and signage bylaws in Cape Town are often seen as overly strict says Annette Evans, regional general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, but she reminds agents that failing to get the necessary written permission to erect and display signs that are on a structure can end in large fines being issued (up to R10 000 per sign) as well as the removal of the sign by the City of Cape Town (which costs will also be billed to the offender).
“There are cases where this is done without realising that they are in contravention of a bylaw but in terms of Outdoor Advertising and Signage Bylaw 10518 of 2001, agents must get the written approval before going ahead with signs advertising the sale of the property that are to be permanently on site,” said Evans.
Reading through the bylaw, Evans said, the reasoning behind being so strict with the regulations are understandable, in that City needs to regulate outdoor advertising in a way that is sensitive to the environment and the bounding properties, and they also need to ensure that there is no negative impact on others.
If agents want to apply for permission to erect a structure for a sign on a property, they must submit a site plan, showing clearly where the sign will be placed on the site, what other signs are already there, dimensions of the sign, whether there are any traffic signs or road signal signs positioned nearby, and how they impact the general character of the area, said Evans.
There are other additional conditions, so it is advised to contact the local Environmental and Spatial Planning department before embarking on the expensive exercise of having the signage made up and erected on a site, only to be told that it doesn’t comply and has to come down again, advised Evans.
Sellers of properties should also be aware of the rules and regulations, as well as possible fines, and should check that the agent has the correct permits or speak to Council if they are in doubt, she said.