Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
HARARE City Council has issued a seven-day ultimatum to all property owners with illegal billboards within their premises to visit its offices for possible regularisation or risk facing the law.
This comes after council issued an initial warning to owners of the illegal structures, but none have responded to that call yet.
Harare works director Engineer Zvenyika Chawatama said the local authority was concerned with the mushrooming of illegal billboards on road verges and private properties.
“The city has advised all property owners with illegal billboards within their premises to visit council offices within seven days for possible regularisation, failure of which council will be forced to remove such billboards and charge the removal cost to the affected property owners,” he said.
He said the Harare (Control of Advertising Signs) By-Laws prohibit putting up signage, billboards or wall murals without council permission.
“According to the Harare (Control of Advertising Signs) By Laws, 1981 it is illegal to erect billboards or any structure within City of Harare area of jurisdiction without a permit and approved plans from council.
“Such billboards will be pulled down by council,” he said.
“As per council Environment Management Committee Minutes (& June 2018) resolution number 22, council resolved to start charging all billboards on private properties and wall murals on buildings.
“All property owners with illegal billboards within their premises are advised to visit council offices within a week for possible regularisation.”
Eng Chawatama said unregistered billboards are dangerous and are reversing the city’s drive towards the attainment of a World Class City by 2025.
City of Harare gets an average $300 000 per month from 1 103 billboards owned by companies registered with the city.