Illegal billboards must go

2008-10-26 00:00

Cascades and Montrose residents’ protests against two illegal billboards erected on opposite sides of Town Bush Road have led to their removal.

Residents said the huge structures were erected without consultation and they did not want them, fearing, among other things, that they might distract motorists.

A resident called the boards “inappropriate and vulgar in this residential neighbourhood”.

Ward councillor Mark Steele also expressed his outrage at the billboards, about which he was never consulted. He said he had since spoken to the relevant municipal officials, who told him that the boards were not approved.

Council spokeswoman Evodia Mahlangu confirmed that the erection of the billboards was not approved by the municipality.

She said applications were received for two billboards, but the design of the billboards did not comply with signs bylaws and the applicant did not seek the ward councillor’s approval.

“Notice was served to the applicant on October 9, 2008 instructing [them] to cease all illegal work on the structures. This notice was not complied with. On October 10, 2008 a further notice was served on the applicant instructing the removal of the unauthorised structures within seven days, failing which the council would remove the structures at the applicant’s cost or alternatively a court interdict would be sought,” said Mahlangu.

To date, she said, the applicant has not complied with the notices and the matter has been lodged with the legal division and court proceedings are now being instituted.

She said the applicant is also in breach of Section 24 of the National Environmental Act as no environmental impact study was carried out, one of the many requirements of the signs bylaws.

In a separate case, chairman of the Hilton residents’ association, Ric Busa, said their two-year fight for the removal of two billboards, one at the entrance to the Quarry Shopping Centre and the other opposite the Kwikspar in Hilton Village, fell on deaf ears amid numerous complaints by residents.

He said residents are still unhappy about the billboards.

Attempts to get a comment from uMngeni municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi about these boards were unsuccessful.

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