City’s new draft by-law on outdoor advertising

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The City’s new draft by-law on outdoor advertising is an improvement on the first version but it is still too complicated and full of unnecessary detail, said the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“One example is the regulations for neighbourhood watch sign boards,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber. “According to the by-law the boards have to be 580 mm wide and 680 mm high. Why be so exact? Why not simply make the dimensions 60 cm by 70 cm and have done with it?”

The regulations also stated that the board could not be illuminated. “Why,” asked Ms Myburgh. “If any sign should be illuminated it is surely the anti-crime signs in residential areas where some of the worst dangers occur during the dark hours of the night.”

She said the Chamber believed that these signs should be as visible as possible so that they would act as a deterrent to criminals.

In her letter to the Council, Ms Myburgh also complained about the insistence on the “portrait” shape of the sign and asked why it could not be turned on its side to give it a “landscape” shape. “And what about a triangular sign which will emphasis danger? Please leave some scope for creativity!”

She was surprised to see that the council had even come up with exact sized for restaurant chalk boards. “Why? Surely this is a matter that could be left to common sense. The City would make a laughing stock of itself if it tried to prosecute a restaurant because its chalk board menu was 10 cm too wide.”

The Chamber said it understood the need for some form of control on outdoor advertising but it was difficult to escape the impression that “control freaks” were at work and there was too much emphasis on petty and excessive regulation.