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Advertising and Signage By-laws – The Short Version

In South Africa, the by-laws and regulations regarding the use of outdoor signage for advertising purposes fall under the jurisdiction of each Municipal Area and more detailed information regarding the by-laws in your area should be obtained from the appropriate offices.

The signage by-laws generally pertain to signs that are a legitimate medium of advertising rather than the plaque on your front door identifying yourself as a professional person, for example.

Responsible Signage

The main aim of the signage by-laws throughout South Africa is to ensure that outdoor advertising is environmentally sensitive, socially responsible, aesthetically pleasing by the way of appearance, size or illumination and that it is suited to the area in which it is displayed.

Signage should only be displayed on structures that are safe and do not compromise the safety of any person or property. It should also not compromise the functioning and safety of traffic and is generally not permitted on bridges, towers, telecommunication masts or pylons.

Advertising signage should not negatively impact the environment, whether artificial or natural and should be properly constructed of incombustible and durable materials suited to the function and permanence of the sign. Any signage will also need to be secured to comply with specific safety requirements.

Under most signage by-laws, all on-site commercial advertising, remote advertising signs (billboards and wall signs), temporary banners and flags, temporary posters along street lamps, advertising trailers and aerial advertising (blimps) require that you complete and submit a signage application to your local municipality and pay a related fee.

Keeping it Legal

Your application will then be assessed and checked against a pre-acceptance checklist, after which it will be circulated to Consent of Use, Urban Design, the Electricity Department, the Transport Authority and the Architecture Department.

In most cases, you can then expect a decision notice of approval or refusal to be posted to the address you supplied on your application form.

Depending on the type of advertising signage you have applied for, the approval process can take anything from 5 days for temporary advertising to 3 weeks for remote advertising.

It is important to note that the upkeep of your approved signage also falls under most municipal signage by-laws whereby it remains your duty to repair any sign that becomes torn, damaged or falls into a state of disrepair. The time given to rectify any damage to your signage is approximately 7 working days following your receipt of a notice of correction from your municipality.

Call on Signkor to help guide and assist you in designing your by-law approved outdoor signage. Visit their website