/ 7 May 2009

ANC, DA drag heels in removing election posters

Johannesburg Metro police will fine political parties if they don’t remove their election posters by Monday. Parties had fourteen days after the election on April 22 to remove their posters.

“The parties, by law, should remove their advertising after elections. It is there in Section 28 of the outdoor advertising bylaws,” said Johannesburg Metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.

Minaar told the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday that metro police officers would confiscate and dispose of all posters after the deadline. “We have extended the deadline to Monday and from then on police will be ordered to take the posters down. For every poster displayed after deadline a R200 fine will be paid by the political party,” he said.

The African National Congress put up 300 000 posters in Johannesburg and said on Thursday it had taken down about 70% of them.

“We are using the same logistical method of taking the posters down as we did putting them up. Provincial structures are responsible for that and we acknowledge that we are falling behind,” said party spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu.

Zulu said that the ANC was aware of the May 5 deadline and were busy removing their posters. “We did engage the mayor’s office to say we would take them down, but the ANC put up a lot of posters and have to be realistic that it could not happen within the initial deadline,” she said.

The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) seems to have more posters than the ANC hanging on lamp posts in the northern suburbs.

Jan Smuts Avenue, which runs from central Johannesburg to the northern suburbs, still has roughly 180 DA posters on display.

“I spoke to our people in Johannesburg and they said that nine teams have been allocated to take the posters down and they guarantee that the posters will be down before the end of this week,” said DA spokesperson Fritz de Klerk, adding the party had put up about 100 000 posters in Johannesburg.

Smaller parties have faded posters hidden behind trees or at the bottom of lamp posts. The Independent Democrats have about 12 posters on Jan Smuts Avenue.

The ANC said they were not expecting special treatment from the city should they not meet the deadline.

“We will try our best to avoid missing the deadline, but we have to abide by the law, so if we miss it then we will definitely pay the expected fines accordingly,” Zulu said.