THE Government and Harare City Council have issued a 48-hour ultimatum for owners of unlicenced billboards to remove them. 

A joint statement by the office of the Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Harare City Council accused owners of rampant corruption and illegal advertising. 

The statement said it was illegal to erect billboards without a permit and approved plans and warned owners of hefty fines and penalties if they failed to comply. 

The cost of removal of any remaining illegal billboards would be borne by the owners of the advertising signs.

“According to the Government Billboard Policy and the City of Harare (Control of Advertising Signs) by-laws,1981, it is illegal to erect billboards or any structure within the City of Harare area of jurisdiction and along all State roads without a valid permit and approved plans.

“Those approved should respect the distances in between billboards and also positioning,” reads the statement.

“This also applies to illegal signage and posters on council street lights and street furniture. Continued non-compliance may also prompt further legal action.

“All companies that have existing street light pole advertising contracts have to ensure that the solar installed streetlights on which they are advertising are in good working order as per agreement. 

“The City of Harare is giving such companies 30 days notice to ensure that they repair and maintain all solar street lights. 

“Failure to do so, these agreements will be immediately cancelled for breach.

“Investigations are now underway for those who acquired permits corruptly, while the enforcement exercise will commence on the 26th of July 2023.” — HMetro

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