On November 5, people across the world will let off fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. However, the recent ‘ban’ on fireworks in Cape Town has left many confused as to what they are allowed to do to honour the tradition.
In October 2019, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith announced that there would be no designated areas for fireworks this year. Instead, people may apply to have fireworks displays.
”Organised fireworks displays can still be applied for, because the City has not imposed a ban on fireworks – we have simply decided not to have designated City sites this year,” Smith said in a statement. “The Community Fire Safety By-law, read in conjunction with the Explosives Act, permit applications for public fireworks displays.”
“We have a problem with illegal fireworks imports, sale and detonation, particularly in Cape Town between October and January annually,” Smith adds.
Following a public outcry, the city later made provisions for those celebrating Diwali by designating an area at the Athlone stadium for the firework festivities. However, no such provisions have been made for Guy Fawkes.
In a statement released today, the City urges residents to not participate in Guy Fawkes celebrations as there are no City designated areas. Those found letting off fireworks without a permit are liable to fines.
“The City reminds residents that there are no designated fireworks sites for Guy Fawkes and 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 and selling fireworks to a child or anyone under the age of 16 is liable to a R300 fine.”
“Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks, or any other acts of criminality under the guise of ‘Guy Fawkes celebrations’ should report this to the City’s Public Emergency Call Centre on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.”