FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown City Council (FCC) has said it is fighting a losing battle against illegal placards, advertising boards and posters. FCC by-law enforcement officer Boitshwarelo Kamanga-Mate said some of the placards, posters and boards distract motorists, who end up causing accidents. She said that despite their efforts, illegal placards and posters are put up in the city every day.
Drivers are usually distracted by these placards especially near the flyover and they end up causing accidents. They also litter the city because they are usually left hanging and it becomes the duty of the council to clean them hence, a decision was taken to introduce fees for those putting them up.
Kamanga-Mate said they remove all the placards that do not have the by-law stamp. This is because the placards have to be paid for and permission given to put them up at designated areas. She stated that when the fees for the placards were introduced, it was relatively cheap but the costs have since escalated. The fees are charged according to size. Kamanga-Mate commended those who pay for the placards and cited churches and established companies and musicians like Franco and Splash who always comply with the by-laws. Its only the local artists and DJs who dont comply and its very disappointing because the welfare and cleanliness of this city must be a collective responsibility of both of us.
The penalty for putting up the placards is P150. A repeat offence is charged at P200. Kamanga-Mate said they now have direct powers to charge the offenders instead of reporting them to the police.
One of the local DJs Peter Gaetsewe (DJ Bunz) said its true they are posting the placards and posters illegally. I dont know if some of us dont know the law but those who know the law put the banners at night to avoid being spotted by the council officials. And they know people will see the banners in the morning before the council removes them.
Like other artists and DJs who spoke to Mmegi, Gaetsewe cited the price charged by the council as one of the reasons that discourages them from getting permission to put up the placards. The last time I was at the council revenue offices, one Manila poster was expensive and you can imagine we use six of those for one banner and multiply it, by the number of banners we put up around town. Its expensive.
He advised the by-law officials to organise a meeting with all local musicians, DJs and promoters to try and resolve the problem because the placards make the city dirty. I can only encourage colleagues to abide by the law and pay for their banners and personally see to it that they are removed afterwards because we also want to keep our city clean, he said.