Guy Fawkes is one day away, and the City is reminding residents that discharging fireworks in a residential area without a permit is illegal. Those found in contravention will be fined.
The City has decided, for the second year in a row, not to provide designated fireworks sites for Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The Drakenstein Municipality has banned the discharge of fireworks outright, except for special events.
Persons wishing to host fireworks displays had the chance to apply for a permit to do so, in terms of the National Explosives Act and the Community Fire Safety By-Law.
“As we indicated last year, the public will need to apply for a permit for a fireworks display as we no longer provide designated sites. There is growing public sentiment opposing the use of fireworks, and we have also seen a decreased appetite from subcouncils to approve designated sites,” explained the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, in September.
“Add to that the cost of running the sites and making resources available to monitor activities and clean up the aftermath, a picture emerges of why the designated site allocation is not feasible. Furthermore, the designated sites have done little to deter the illegal discharge of fireworks in residential areas, which is an ongoing problem.”
Smith says the City has not banned fireworks, as only the government has the authority to do so. Permits for firework displays can still be applied for, in terms of the relevant legislation.
IOL reported that according to City Safety and Security executive director Richard Bosman, the events department had not received any applications related to fireworks displays.
Anyone found illegally discharging fireworks will face a fine. 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 for a R200 fine. Selling fireworks to a child or anyone under the age of 16 is a R300 fine. Allowing a child or person under the age of 16 to handle fireworks without adult supervision is a R300 fine.
The public is reminded that the import and sale of fireworks without the necessary permissions outlined in the Explosives act is illegal, as is the discharge of fireworks in an area not specifically designated for it.
Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks should report this to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.