Outdoor Advertising and Signage By-law, 2001
- Published in Western Cape Provincial Gazette 5801 on 5 December 2001
- Commenced on 5 December 2001
- [This is the version of this document from 17 January 2014 and includes any amendments published up to 28 July 2023.]
- [Amended by Outdoor Advertising and Signage: Amendment on 17 January 2014]
PreambleThe object of this By-Law is to regulate outdoor advertising in the jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town in a manner that is sensitive to the environmental quality of different parts of the City of Cape Town. It seeks to strike a balance between outdoor advertising opportunities and economic development on the one hand, and the conservation of visual, tourist, traffic safety, environmental and heritage characteristics on the other hand. The object of this By—Law is to ensure that outdoor advertising respects the integrity of any site on which it is displayed, and complements the character of the locality in which it is displayed.The sensitivity of the proposed locality of a sign and its capacity to withstand the visual impact are the most important guiding principles for the control of outdoor advertising. Outdoor advertising signs should only be placed where they are most compatible with the surrounding locality and where they do not impact on visual corridors and/or scenic drives. Signs that compromise protected, unique or sensitive areas will not be allowed.In addition, outdoor advertising and signs should not compromise the functioning and safety of traffic and should not adversely affect the character of a locality by way of appearance, size or illumination.Advertising on bridges, towers, telecommunication masts or pylons will not be permitted.The types of landscapes, signs and areas of control are important factors in the classification concept utilized in this By-Law. This By-Law presumes that the type of sign gives an indication of the potential impact of such a sign on the locality in which it will be displayed. Thus in terms of this By-Law the local character of an area in which a sign is proposed will affect the degree of control applied in that area.This By-Law recognises that the dynamics between the type of the sign, the sign itself and where it is to be located can most effectively be dealt with by the determination of areas of control. Three areas of control are applied in this By-Law namely maximum, partial and minimum areas of control. The potential for outdoor advertising and the sign types to be considered is therefore determined by permitting certain sign types in certain areas of control. Control measures are applied by means of approval or refusal, and by means of general and specific conditions and requirements.The following signs are outdoor signs but which, without third party advertising, do not constitute outdoor advertising within the ambit of this By-Law:(i) Authorised tourist destination signs as defined by the Roads Traffic Manual(ii) Community information/educational boards(iii) Any sign required to be displayed by law including road traffic signs erected in terms of any Act of Parliament, Provincial Law or By-Law.Finally, this By-Law sets out the procedures to be followed and the criteria used when obtaining approval for a sign applicable to outdoor advertising in the City of Cape Town. In doing so, it recognises that there is an extensive amount of technical detail applicable to specific sign types and their effect in specific localities. The specific requirements for specific signs are set out in the Schedules hereto. The Schedules are part of the By-Law. These Schedules are not any less important than the content of the By-Law itself.
Part A – DefinitionsIn this By-law, unless the context otherwise indicates:"Advertising structure" means any physical structure built or capable of being used to display a sign."Advertisement" means any representation of a word, name, letter, figure or object or an abbreviation of a word or name, or any symbol; or any light which is not intended solely for illumination or as a warning against any dangers and "advertising" has a similar meaning."Aerial sign" means a sign that is displayed or performed in the air, including but not limited to balloons and blimps that can be viewed from within the Municipality’s area of jurisdiction."Approval" means approval by the Municipality or by officials, sub-council’s committees or executive councillors by virtue of powers delegated to them; and "approve" has a corresponding meaning."Areas of control" means those areas set out in Schedule 1 of the By-law; and which may be modified and/or amended from time to time, which amendments and modifications will be graphically depicted by way of maps as prepared by the Municipality from time to time."Banner" means any material upon which a sign is displayed in such a manner as to be fully legible in windless conditions, attached to one or more ropes, poles or flagstaffs projecting vertically, horizontally or at an angle, or attached to buildings or special structures, but excludes banners carried as part of a procession. A flag which is not displayed on an approved flag pole shall for the purposes of this By-law, be deemed to be a banner."Billboard" means any screen or board which stands free and is larger than 4,5m² in total area; which is supported by, or consists of, a structure used, or intended to be used, for the purpose of posting, displaying or exhibiting a sign."Clear height", in relation to a sign, means the vertical distance between the lowest edge of the sign and the natural level of the surrounding ground, footway or roadway immediately below the sign."Commercial advertising" means any words, letters, logos, figures, symbols, pictures relating to the name of a business, trade, partnership, individual, or any information, recommendation or exhortation; in respect of any particular goods manufactured or sold, or any particular services rendered or offered, or any event for commerce or entertainment, including sporting events."Commercially sponsored sign" means a sign which advertises goods or services; but the erection of which has a secondary purpose, which is to promote or contribute to some recognised public or community goal or function."Common boundary façade" means any façade of a building which is built abutting a rear or side boundary of an erf and which façade is blank, meaning having no architectural features, which includes windows."Composite sign" means a single freestanding advertising structure for the display of more than one advertising sign."Consultant" means a suitably qualified independent person or company that acts on behalf of, or as an agent of, an applicant for approval of a sign in terms of this By-law."Continuing offence" means an offence in terms of this By-law, which continues to exist, after the expiry of the notice period referred to in a notice served in terms of this By-law."Custom made design" means the design of any sign, which features special effects such as specialist character cut outs and/or shapes and/or three dimensional presentations or moving parts and which is uniquely designed and/or constructed for erection in a particular location."Designated Metropolitan Road" means a Class I (freeways and expressways), class 2 (primary arterials), class 3 (secondary arterials) road as depicted graphically from time to time on MAP CMT.R-0007, issued by the Municipality from time to time in terms of The Urban Transport Act No. 78 of 1977."Development board" means a sign displayed at premises upon which building operations are currently in progress and relating to any services being provided, work being done or goods being supplied in connection with such building operations. This excludes contract boards for building and civil engineering projects as required in terms of the National Building Regulations and Control Act, 103 of 1977 as amended from time to time and defined in terms of the General Conditions of Contract and/or Specifications of the appropriate institutions."Display" means the display of a sign and includes the erection of any billboard, sign or structure intended solely or primarily for the support of a sign or billboard; and, in addition, includes the display of a sign of a business, trade partnership or individual connected with the contents of the sign or sign; and "displayed" has a corresponding meaning."Electronic sign" means a sign which has an electronically controlled, illuminated display surface which allows all, or a portion, of the sign to be changed, or illuminated in different ways."Environmental Impact Assessment" (EIA) means an assessment carried out in accordance with the Municipality’s guidelines for outdoor advertising. "Estate Agency" means a person who markets and/or sells properties with or without buildings erected thereon and "estate agent" has a corresponding meaning."Existing sign" means any sign previously approved by the Municipality."Flat sign" means a sign which is affixed to, or painted directly onto, a wall of a building but not onto, or over, windows or doors or architectural articulations and which at no point projects more than 250 mm in front of the surface of such wall."Freestanding sign" means any sign or group of signs contained or displayed on one freestanding structure which is not attached to a building or to any structure or object not intended to be used for the primary purpose of advertising."Gateway route" means a prominent route with an entrance to or exit from a specific part of the Municipality’s jurisdiction, consisting of man-made or natural features and creating a strong sense of arrival or departure and which is consistent with city planning and/or development framework plans or policy. These routes may be geographically depicted by way of maps or listed by the Municipality from time to time."Graphic" includes but is not limited to any component which contributes to the visual appearance or aesthetics of a sign; including its background. "Headline poster" means a temporary poster advertising the contents of a daily or weekly newspaper.The "Height of a sign" is calculated by measuring the vertical distance between the uppermost and lowest parts of the structure."Heritage Impact Assessment" (HIA) means a visual assessment of the impact that any proposed sign may have on the cultural heritage, whether built or recognised, at the locality where the proposed sign will be displayed."Internally Illuminated Sign" means an advertisement or structure used to display an advertisement which has been installed with electrical or other power and an artificial light source which is fully or partially enclosed within the structure or sign and which light is intended to illuminate the advertisement or a portion thereof."Law" means any law, proclamation, ordinance, Act of Parliament or Provincial Legislature, or any other enactment having the force of law."Locality Bound Advertising" means any sign displayed on a specific erf, premises or building and may include (that subject to a prescribed encroachment fee) such a sign on municipal owned land, adjacent to, abutting on and/or within 5 metres of the aforementioned erf; premises or building which sign refers to an activity product service or attraction; located, rendered or provided on or from that erf or those premises."Loose portable sign" means a freestanding locality bound notice or advertising board placed or erected in the Road Reserve or in a public open space. "Movable sign" means a sign not permanently fixed and not intended to remain fixed in one position, but does not include any moving part on a fixed permanent sign."Municipality" means the Municipality of the City of Cape Town and includes any executive councillor, or Committee or Sub-Council established by the Municipality, or any employee thereof, or duly authorised agent thereof acting in connection with this By-law by virtue of a power vested in the Municipality and delegated to such employee or agent."New sign" means any sign first displayed after the promulgation of this By-law;"Non-profit body" is a body established primarily to promote a community goal or benefit without direct or personal financial gain; and may include educational, sporting, medical, municipal departments; bodies as well as charities or community organisations. The Municipality may call for documentary proof, (which may include the production of bank statements) of the non profit status or community benefit objective of the body."Organ of state" means:(a)any department of state or administration in the national, provincial or local sphere of government;(b)any other functionary or institution:(i)exercising a power or performing a function in terms of the Constitution or a provincial constitution; or(ii)exercising a public power or performing a public function in terms of any other legislation."Overall height", in relation to a sign, means the vertical distance between the uppermost edge of the sign and the finished level of the ground, footway or roadway immediately below the centre point of the sign."Perimeter of an Intersection" means the perimeter of the area embraced within the prolongation of the road reserve lines of two or more public roads that join one another at any angle, whether or not one such public road crosses the other."Person" includes:(a)any organ of state(b)any company incorporated or registered as such under any law(c)any body of persons, whether incorporated or not, functioning as a single entity for whatever purpose."Poster" means temporary signs capable of being attached to the Municipal electrical light standards and/or pasted to fixed structures to advertise events or campaigns, including elections or referenda of limited duration and excluding signs advertising markets, exhibitions or events which are held on a regular basis of more than two days per month."Projected sign" means any sign projected by a laser projector, video projector, or other apparatus."Projecting sign" means a sign which is affixed to a wall of a building and which at some point projects more than 250 mm in front of the surface of such wall."Public façade" means any façade that has windows or other architectural articulation."Public place" means any public road, public street, thoroughfare, bridge, subway, footway, foot pavement, footpath, sidewalk, (or similar pedestrian portion of a Road Reserve), lane, square, open space, garden, park or enclosed place vested in the Municipality, or other state authority or indicated as such on the Surveyor General’s records, or utilized by the public or zoned as such in terms of the applicable zoning scheme."Public road" means public road as defined in the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996."Road Authority" means the road authority as defined in Section 2 of the Roads Ordinance (Ordinance 19 of 1976)."Road Reserve" means the area contained within the statutory width of a road, and includes roadways, shoulders and sidewalks and the airspace above such roadways, shoulders and sidewalks and all other areas within the road reserve boundary."Roadway" means that portion of a road, street or thoroughfare improved, constructed or intended for vehicular traffic as defined in the National Road Traffic Act No 93 of 1996."Roof sign" means a sign affixed to a roof of a building where the top edge of any point of that sign does not exceed the height of the roof plane to which it is affixed."Scenic Drive" means a road designated as such on an approved zoning scheme or from which landscapes or features of aesthetic or cultural significance can be seen or viewed as designated by the Municipality from time to time."Security sign" means an outdoor sign for neighbourhood watch and similar schemes, and a sign containing the name, logo, address and telephone number of a security company contracted to protect, or security system installed to protect, the premises on which the sign is displayed."Service station facility sign" means freestanding signs at petrol filling stations, roadside rest and service areas and includes service station pylon signs. "Shop" means a building used for retail trade or services."Sign" means any object, product, replica, advertising structure, mural, device or board which is used to publicly display a sign or which is in itself a sign; and includes a poster and a billboard."Signalized traffic intersection" means an intersection controlled by traffic signals."Sky sign" means a sign where the top edge of any point of that sign exceeds the height of the roof plane to which it is affixed."Sponsored sign" means a sign, the primary purpose of which is not to advertise goods or services but which displays a graphic or content which promotes community or public awareness of a recognised public or community goal."Street name signs" means pole-mounted, double-sided, internally illuminated or unilluminated signs displayed in combination with names of streets, not exceeding 1 m²."Street furniture" means public facilities and structures which are not intended primarily for advertising and includes but is not limited to seating benches, planters, bins, pole mounted bins, bus shelters, sidewalk clocks, drinking fountains, Telkom boxes, traffic signal controllers, electricity boxes, post boxes and telephone booths, but excludes road traffic signs, traffic signals, street lights or any other road-related structures."Sub-council" means a metropolitan sub-council referred to in Section 62 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act No 117 of 1998. "Temporary signs" means signs which are displayed for a maximum period of 14 days, or such other period as may be approved by the Municipality. "Thickness" in relation to a projecting sign, means the width of such sign measured parallel to the plane of the main wall to which such sign is affixed."Third-party advertising" means the advertising of goods or services that are not made, procured, sold or delivered from the property on which the sign and/or sign advertising of those goods or services is fixed or placed, and includes advertising which is not locality bound as well as the display of a sign which is made, procured or sold from the property but advertises goods or services which are not made, procured, sold or delivered from that property."Three dimensional sign" means a sign containing more than 2 dimensions, including product replicas."Traffic Impact Assessment" (TIA) means a study carried out by a registered Professional Engineer with demonstrable experience in the field of traffic engineering that investigates the impact a proposed sign may have on vehicle/pedestrian/cyclist safety and traffic operation. The study should recommend any mitigating measures that may be required as a result of that impact."Traffic Sign" means a road traffic sign as prescribed in the National Road Traffic Act No. 93 of 1996. "Traffic Signal" means a road traffic signal as prescribed in the National Road Traffic Act No. 93 of 1996."Transit advertising" means advertising by means of a movable sign which is capable of being transported by road either on or in conjunction with a motorized vehicle or non-motorized vehicle, including trailers primarily used for advertising.[definition of "Transit advertising" amended by the Amendment By-law, 2013]"Transportation Terminals" means any area designated by the Municipality as such, where the formal interchange of modes of public transport takes place by the public, including, but not limited to designated railway stations, official taxi terminals and bus terminals."Urban edge line" means a predetermined point to point boundary line as determined by the Municipality from time to time, which has as its purpose, the containment of urban development."Verandah" includes a cantilevered canopy and sunblind."Window signs" means signs which are temporarily or permanently painted on, or attached to the window-glass of a building."Zone" means a land use zone as set out in the relevant zoning schemes or Town Planning Regulations as amended from time to time and applicable to any erf on which a sign is displayed or intended to be displayed and "zoning" has a corresponding meaning.
Part B – Submission of applications
1.Other than those signs referred to in Sections 55 to 62 hereinbelow, no person shall display any advertisement or erect or use any sign or advertising structure for advertising purposes without the Municipality’s approval in terms of this By-law and any other applicable legislation.
2.Every person intending to display a new sign or to alter or to add to an existing approved sign; or submitting a signage plan in terms of a Site Development Plan proposal, shall apply in writing to the Municipality which application shall be accompanied by the following information in duplicate:
3.The submission of an application in accordance with this Part is required in respect all signs, including but not limited to the sign types set out in schedule 2 to 17, and signs which do not comply upfront with the conditions set out in Part H. The City may pre-scrutinize, and shall not be obliged to process incomplete applications, and applications in breach of non-waiveable conditions which will be returned to the applicant before the fees in terms of part C are calculated.[new section 3 inserted by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
4.The Municipality may require the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment (either the 1st stage thereof; being the completion of an Environmental Checklist or in its entirety), Heritage Impact Assessment and/or a Traffic Impact Assessment.[old section 3 renumbered to 4 by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
5.If in the Municipality’s opinion, a community or portion thereof or a person will be affected by the proposed sign, it may require a public participation process prior to considering the approval, which public participation process shall comply with the Municipality’s policy on public participation.[old section 4 renumbered to 5 by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
6.The Municipality will require a signage master plan in respect of any development where the erection of numerous signs is proposed or the rationalisation of previously approved signs is required so as to allow it to consider a consistent design master plan prior to assessment of any individual sign.[old section 5 renumbered to 6 by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
7.The Municipality shall notify the applicant of any additional requirements it has, within 21 working days of the date of submission of the original application and payment of the application fee.[old section 6 renumbered to 7 by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
8.The Municipality shall be entitled to retain a copy of every document supplied to it as part of an application, but is not obliged to do so.[old section 7 renumbered to 8 by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
9.The Municipality may require written notification, by the applicant or person who erects an approved sign that such sign has been erected.[old section 8 renumbered to 9 by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
Part C – Charges and general factors in considering approval and/or amendments/conditions to approval
9.Every person who applies to the Municipality for approval in terms of this By-law shall, on making application, pay to the Municipality an application fee as determined by the Municipality from time to time. In addition, on approval of an application, an approval fee as determined by the Municipality from time to time shall be paid. No sign shall be erected until such time as both the application and approval fees have been paid in full.[The Amendment By-law, 2013 inserted a new section 3 and renumbered sections 3-8 to 4-9 respectively, creating two section 9s.]
10.In considering an application for the display of an advertisement or the erection of a sign in terms of this By-law, or an amendment or condition attaching or to be attached to an approval, the Municipality shall have regard to the following factors:
Part D – Factors relating to specific signs, areas of control and commercial sponsored signs
11.The Municipality shall, in addition to the factors set out hereinabove in Parts B and C and Part E and H below, apply certain minimum standards to certain specific sign types and proposed localities when an application for approval is made in respect thereof and will apply certain specific criteria to applications for the erection of signs by non-profit bodies. These specific standards and criteria are set out as Schedules to this By-law. Schedule 1 to this By-law indicates the areas of control in which certain specific sign types may be permitted, subject always to approval in terms of this By-law and furthermore subject to any additional requirement pertaining to a specific sign type as set out in the following Schedules:[text amended by the Amendment By-law, 2013]ScheduleSchedule 1 — Areas of ControlSchedule 2 — BillboardsSchedule 3 — Locality Bound Freestanding and Composite SignsSchedule 4 — Signs attached to walls of buildings — (Flat & Projecting Signs)Schedule 5 — Sky signsSchedule 6 — Roof signsSchedule 7 — Signs on a verandah, balcony, canopy, supporting columns, pillars and postsSchedule 8 — Signs on boundary walls, fences and construction sitesSchedule 9 — Newspaper Headline postersSchedule 10 — Banners, flags and balloons 11 — PostersSchedule 12 — Estate Agent signsSchedule 13 — Loose portable signsSchedule 14 — Aerial signsSchedule 15 — Transit AdvertisingSchedule 16 — Signs on Municipal Land/BuildingsSchedule 17 — Signs by/for Non-Profit BodiesThe Municipality may grant an exemption from the terms of this By-law in respect of the sign types or areas of control set out in Schedules 10, 11 and 12 hereto having regard to:
Part E – Standard conditions for approvalThe requirements and conditions contained in Part E are applicable to all applications and approvals in accordance with this By-law, and apply in respect of all signs, including but not limited to, the specific sign types set out in Schedules 2 to 17 and Part H. In the event that a Schedule or Part H contains a more specific requirement or condition, the more specific requirement or condition will be applied.[text inserted by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
12.All signs shall be properly constructed of the requisite strength and shall be secure and shall comply with the requirements pertaining thereto of the National Building Regulations and Standards Act 103 of 1977 as amended from time to time.
13.The owner of the sign structure, the media owner, the Applicant to whom approval has been granted and the owner of the property or building to which it is attached shall be jointly and severally liable for the maintenance thereof and shall undertake at least one inspection per year thereof with a view to satisfying themselves as to the safety thereof.[section 13 amended by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
14.Where any sign becomes torn or damaged or otherwise falls into a state of disrepair, the owner of the sign structure, the media owner, the applicant to whom the approval has been granted and the owner of the fixture or property which or to which a sign is attached shall within 7 working days of a notice to do so, repair it.[section 14 amended by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
15.All signs and their support structures shall be constructed of incombustible, durable materials suited to the function, nature and permanence of the sign.
16.All glass used in a sign, other than glass used in illumination, must be safety glass of at least 3 mm thick.
17.Glass panels used in a sign must not exceed 0,9 m² in area, each panel being securely fixed in the body of the sign, structure or device independently of all other panels.
18.Every sign and its support structure shall be kept in a state of good repair.
19.No sign may be placed covering any window or opening provided for ventilation of a building or obstruct any stairway or doorway or other means of exit from the building or prevent movement of people from one part of a roof to another.
20.No advertising structure shall be closer to overhead electrical equipment than the minimum distance as prescribed from time to time.
21.All signs needing an electrical connection must preferably be supplied from the existing electrical supply on the erf where it is to be erected. If this is not possible, application for a metered electricity supply must be made to the relevant authority.
22.Every sign in connection with which electricity is used, shall be provided with suitable capacitors to prevent interference with radio and television reception.
23.Each power cable and conduit containing electrical conductors in respect of a sign shall be so positioned and fixed so that it is safe, unseen, inaccessible and child tamper proof and animal proof.
24.Each interior high-voltage installation that runs unattended (such as a window display) and each exterior high-voltage installation shall have an acceptable type of fireman’s switch in accordance with the requirements as stipulated in Sections 6.7.2 and 7.5 of SABS 0142 1993 promulgated in terms of The Occupational Health and Safety Act.
25.The Municipality may approve an illuminated sign, provided that the provisions of this By-law are complied with and that such illumination should be designed to ensure maximum energy efficiency and controlled hours of illumination and that the illumination does not constitute a road safety hazard or cause undue light spillage.[section 25 amended by the Amendment By-law, 2013]
26.Signs may not be illuminated if no sign content is displayed.
27.Requirement for internal illumination and/or electronic signs:
28.Requirements for external illumination:
Road traffic safety requirements
29.Signs may not be erected in an area where the Roads Authority is of the opinion that they are an unacceptable distraction for drivers or where drivers turn, negotiate curves or traffic merges, diverges or weaves.
30.Electronic signs shall not be permitted if they are visible from a class 1 road, gateway route or a scenic drive unless expressly approved in writing by the Road Authority.
31.Advertising on bridges, towers, telecommunication masts or pylons shall not be permitted.
32.Signs shall not be located within 50m of the perimeter of an intersection of a designated metropolitan road unless expressly approved in writing by the road authority.
33.The graphic content of signs shall not have the potential to be visually interpreted as a road traffic sign, due to any factor, including but not limited to the following:
34.Signs may not be erected in an area where the traffic volume, the average following headway or accident history requires a higher than average degree of awareness from drivers.
35.Signs may not be attached to or obscure a road traffic sign or traffic signal specifically provided for in the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual and/or the South African Development Community Road Traffic Signs Manual.
36.Signs may not be erected within the road reserve of any public road unless expressly approved by the road authority.
37.When located at signalized traffic intersections, signs may not have the colours red or yellow or green as main colours and shall not obscure or interfere with any road traffic sign or traffic signal.
38.Electronic signs shall not be permitted within 80 metres of the perimeter of a signalised traffic intersection.
39.Flashing or running messages or variable transition messages that have a message change interval of greater than 0,3 seconds or have transition effects between message changes shall not be permitted if viewable from a public road.
40.Static display, simple transition signs shall display a complete frame for an information cycle length of not less than 60 seconds when visible from a signalised traffic intersection and 30 seconds at other locations.
41.All third-party signs larger than 4,5 m² erected adjacent to a public road or in a railway reserve intended to advertise to persons using designated metropolitan roads must be spaced a minimum specified distance from any other sign or road traffic sign, such distance measured parallel to the centre line of the roadway, in accordance with Table 1 below.Table 1: Linear spacing between signs
|Case||Spacing required when visible to traffic on a road with a speed of:|
|≤ 60 km/h||61-80 km/h||81-120km/h|
|Where an advertising sign follows a road sign||380m||425m||475m|
|Where an advertising sign follows an advertising sign||310m||360m||410m|
|Where an advertising sign precedes a road sign||40m||70m||100m|