The Battle of the Billboards

It seems like Bedfordview is in a constant battle with advertisers who want to erect massive billboards and destroy the flora that gives Bedfordview it’s characteristic charm.

In 2016, residents witnessed the construction of the biggest billboard Bedfordview had seen yet, a 90-meter superstructure built on the Gillooly’s Farm grounds, and the billboards just seem to keep piling up.

Ward 20 councillor Jill Humpreys has opposed the construction of further billboards. Another issue she raised is that the cutting of trees sets a precedent for other billboard owners to follow suit. The councillor pointed out that some residents were even going as far as putting billboards up in their yards without permission.

The trees lining Van der Linde are over a hundred years old, and some believe that they were planted so as to run along the gold lines of the Rand. 

Metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe said no tree may be pruned or removed from metro property within the metro except by the department or an appointed contractor.

According to by-laws, the trees on metro property will only be removed by Metro Parks under the following conditions: dead or dying; deceased beyond recovery; causes a traffic hazard that pruning would not alleviate the problem; causes an electrical hazard or causes non-compliance with the relevant sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act; causes damage to water or sewer pipes; necessary to accommodate municipal services provided no alternative route is available; or a proclaimed noxious weed or invader plant (Regulation 15 of Conservation of the Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983); trees may only be removed from a sidewalk to provide vehicle access to a property if the application is supported by the Executive Director: Road Transport and Civil Works in consultation with the Executive Director: Environmental Development and the approved tariff for removing such a tree is paid in advance; developers shall provide a detailed site plan for any new development showing the location of all street trees adjacent to the property which shall be approved by the Executive Director: Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture prior to the development proceeding; existing trees, whose roots have developed extensively such that its roots causes structural damage to the road layers may at the request of the Roads, Transport and Civil Works Department be removed and replaced at the cost of the metro; a dangerous tree where the danger cannot be alleviated by pruning or other horticultural work.

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