Louis Steenkamp, chairman of the Tygerberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a partner in an estate agency, has lashed out at what he calls the “selective enforcement” of the city’s new outdoor advertising legislation.
Mr. Steenkamp and many other estate agents showing houses in Boston, had their signboards which were placed along Frans Conradie Road confiscated by municipal law enforcement officials on Sunday morning. There were no less than four law enforcement vehicles involved in the operation. What infuriates Mr. Steenkamp is that outdoor advertising by other industries – some of it only a few metres from where estate agent’s boards were removed – were left untouched. Most of these signs, advertising work from home opportunities, weight loss remedies and individuals who draw up building plans or drill boreholes, are up on a permanent basis – unlike estate agents boards, which are usually put up on a Saturday and taken down on a Sunday evening, points out Mr. Steenkamp. According to Mr. Steenkamp, some of the estate agency signs that were removed were put up in line with the new legislation. The legislation states that estate agents may only use six signs advertising any advertising any property for sale. Signs may not be placed along scenic routes, on bridges, public parks or public open space. “If you’ve got two signs on the property, that means you can only use four boards to direct people to the show house. “Some houses can be two kilometres from a main route,” he says. “I’m all for regulation and enforcement of outdoor advertising,” says Mr. Steenkamp. “But what bothers me is the selective enforcement of the regulations – and the fact that the legislation was passed with out proper consultation with the people who are going to be most affected.” He recently held a meeting with 12 other estate agencies operating in the area to discuss the new legislation. “The general consensus at the meeting was that there was not enough consultation with role-players in the industry,” says Mr. Steenkamp. The Institute of Estate Agents was consulted regarding the legislation. However, it emerged at the meeting that their recommendation “hadn’t been take seriously,” says Mr. Steenkamp. The Tygerberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents more than 1 000 businesses, was not approached for comment on the new legislation. Mr. Steenkamp says he has contacted the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry and asked them to conduct a survey amongst their members to determine how they feel about the new legislation. “The policy doesn’t take the reality of the estate agency industry into account. You can’t draft legislation without consulting the industry most affected,” he says. Article: Tygertalk Thursday 2 February 2002 Dean Archer
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