With South Africa’s 2019 elections officially done and dusted, political parties have until the end of the week to remove their posters from public view.
Election posters, which, as an integral part of campaigning, have been fixed to lampposts and street poles in the run-up to this year’s electoral conference, will be coming down this week.
The removal of political parties’ posters is – beyond being a symbolic gesture – a legal requirement, with varying implications according to bylaws and municipal jurisdictions.
Deadline for removal of election posters set by municipalities
By law, political parties which contested the 2019 elections have 14 days, following Election Day, to remove any and all posters and paraphernalia from city infrastructure.
Dimitri Georgeades, head of Environmental and Heritage Management for the City of Cape Town, says that the metro’s bylaws give political parties just ten days to remove their posters, after which, the city will begin an intense clean-up, complete with hefty fines for defaulters.
The Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Chief Communications Officer,
Kate Bapela, concurred that municipal by-laws dictated the deadlines in
question. Some municipalities allow for a two-week grace period.
Defaulting political parties to be slapped with heavy fines
The City of Cape Town is notoriously stricter than most. City Media Manager, Luthando Tyhalibongo, noted that political parties would need to remove all posters by the end of the week. On 20 May, the City of Cape Town would embark on a removal drive to rid all public infrastructure of political placards.
Both Tyhalibongo and Georgeades elaborated on the ‘removal
fee’ which would be charged to defaulting political parties:
- R117 per tied poster
- R170 per pasted poster
Georgeades noted that, according to the city’s bylaws, pasted posters were, in fact, illegal. He also explained that posters which were permitted to be on public display contained a small city-approved sticker, which denotes the placard’s expiration date. All posters lacking the aforementioned sticker would be removed on 20 May.
Contacting the City
The City of Cape Town also appealed to residents to inform officials of any election posters which the clean-up crew may have missed.
If you notice a political party poster still strung up to city infrastructure, you can contact the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management head office:
- Telephone:021 487 2284