Joburg not a “world-class African city”: ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has ruled that the City Of Johannesburg’s claims of being financially stable “world class African city” is misleading, and should be withdrawn.

The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality’s radio advertisements claim that Joburg is financially stable, saving the environment, and creating new jobs despite the economic downturn using it’s “world class African city” campaign.

However, one consumer, Steven Haywood, lodged a complaint with the ASA, arguing that the commercial contains blatant untruths.

“It claims that the City is financially stable, yet it has received three consecutive qualified audits,” Haywood said, adding that R12 billion worth of revenue is being written off this year as “unlikely to materialise”.

He also disputed the city’s claims of being environmentally friendly, saying that the city loses R1.2 billion worth of electricity each month, and loses water to the value of R800 million per month.

The City Of Johannesburg acknowledged the complaint, but did not try to defend its advertisement through a response.

“The City Of Johannesburg has not disputed the allegation that it has received a qualified audit for three years in a row, that it runs high losses on electricity and water, or that its Pikitup service is bankrupt,” the ASA said.

The ASA said that the City of Johannesburg’s commercial appears to be communicating a misleading message about the overall wellbeing of the city.

The ASA upheld the complaint, and ordered the City of Johannesburg to withdraw the commercial with immediate effect.

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Joburg not a “world-class African city”: ASA