The City of Cape Town has decided to forego designated sites for fireworks this year, according to an official statement by Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The statement has lead to strong reactions from the public. Some are relieved that the risks involved are now eliminated, including fires and animals being traumatised, while others are disappointed that they will not be able to celebrate religious and cultural festivals with a beautiful display of colours and lights.
Even though discharging of fireworks is not allowed in terms of the Community Fire Safety By-law, the City has made an exception to accommodate the festivities of Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Year’s Eve in previous years.
However, a number of factors lead to the City changing course this year, including, the cost associated with running the sites, which include deploying staff and resources, including Law Enforcement, Metro Police, Traffic and the Fire and Rescue Service, and the growing public sentiment opposing the use of fireworks.
“We remind residents that, in terms of Section 30 of the Explosives Act of 1956, the use or detonation of any fireworks in any building and public thoroughfare is liable to a R200 fine; selling fireworks to a child or anyone under the age of 16 is liable to a R300 fine; allowing a child or person under the age of 16 to handle fireworks without adult supervision is liable to a R300 fine,” added Smith.
Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks should report this to the City’s Public Emergency Call Centre on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.