BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) wants to ban unauthorised advertising on city buildings and trees ahead of the 2023 polls.
This was revealed yesterday by the city’s deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube.
City authorities are apparently unhappy that during past elections, campaign posters defaced city buildings and trees, tampering with their aesthetic value.
City fathers said in 2023, such a practice would have repercussions for those found on the wrong side of the law.
“Council has always discouraged people from engaging in such practices. It is very unlawful to paste adverts on city buildings. Council sells this space only to registered advertisers, what people are doing in the city is unlawful,” Ncube said.“Members of the public should first seek permission from council before pasting adverts, especially now that we are approaching the election period.”
He added: “As council we will make sure that we hold a stakeholder meeting with all parties concerned before the elections. We will map a way forward that will be suitable for all the parties involved so as to preserve order in our city.”
Council said offenders would face three months imprisonment or a fine.
“We will place inspectors on the ground and those who are found wanting will be dealt with as the law requires,” Ncube said.Meanwhile, BCC has raked in over US$5,2 million through building plan fees.
In the latest council minutes, director of housing and community services Dictor Khumalo reported that: “A total of 256 building plans with a value of US$5 003 824 submitted in October 2022, were an increase of 21,33% compared to the September 2022 figure whereby 4 578 inspections were carried out constituting an increase of 13,04% compared to the previous month’s total.”
“Building inspectors still face transport challenges. Two of the three complementing council vehicles were down, which negatively affected the operations. Clearing the building plan filing backlog continues on a daily basis at head office and various housing offices.”
Council, which is also currently grappling with a shortage of building inspectors, said it was struggling to satisfy the overwhelming demand for inspections.
The city’s housing and community services department has, meanwhile, warned that in terms of the Model Building Bye-laws (1977), chapter 2, sections 44 and 46, no new buildings should be occupied without an occupation certificate.
“As such, the department inspectors routinely issue certificates of occupation to new residential developments that comply with the by-laws. New commercial and public buildings are inspected by an interdepartmental team before an occupation certificate is issued,” the minutes read.