Friday, October 23, 2020

Cash-strapped GCC losing revenue courtesy of illegal bill boards

While the City of Gaborone has in the past toughened its Outdoor Advertising and Billboards by-laws to classify illegal outdoor advertising as an action that could result in punitive action against preparators, nothing seems to have changed.

The city council says it has noted an influx of illegal outdoor advertising in recent years which resulted in loss of income as well as lawlessness in the advertising industry.

GCC charges advertising site at a rate of P300 per square meter. By the last count, the council says it had identified and classified as illegal advertising on atleast 36 square meters space. The council has to date registered 105 cases relating to illegal outdoor advertising. The illegal adverts, according to GCC spokesperson – Segametsi Kebonang has resulted in loss of revenue.

Given the trend, GCC Mayor – Father Maphongo has sent a strong warning to the companies that continue to be on the wrong side of the law.

“May I urge and encourage all those who developed illegal advertising structure to comply by removing them as advised on Public Notices, otherwise council will be removing all illegal structures and the owners will bear the removal costs”, said Maphongo some three months ago.

GCC in 2019 developed new advertising guidelines in a bid to better manage the space in the city. Before 2019 the council also took a decision to reserve a minimum of 30 percent of its outdoor advertising space to “verified marginalised groups.” Resultantly, three companies – Master Carpentry & Joinery, Jun Bud Holdings and Goleba Out Door were the only ones that benefitted from that special dispensation from the entirety of individual entities within those marginalised groups that also qualified.

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