In the run up to Diwali and Guy Fawkes, residents are reminded that permits are required for fireworks displays. In addition, there are no designated sites for the setting off of fireworks.
Since 2019, the City no longer provides designated fireworks sites for Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Year’s Eve but this has not stopped residents from discharging fireworks in residential areas.
‘Last year, we still had a number of transgressions as residents continue to set off fireworks and were not even deterred by the lockdown measures at the time. During just four days, from 4 to 7 November 2021, the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre recorded 357 complaints about the setting off of fireworks and 63 for the selling of fireworks,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Those who want to host fireworks displays can apply for a permit in terms of the National Explosives Act and the Community Fire Safety By-Law.
Any event where 200 or more attendees are expected, or that requires any infrastructure build, will also require an Events permit from the City.
Chapter 11 of the Community Fire Safety By-law, which deals with fireworks, states that a controlling authority may set aside municipal land for the purpose of the letting off of fireworks by the public, subject to such conditions as may be determined by the controlling authority and indicated by a notice at the site.
Persons who would like to apply for a permit to host a firework display need to apply to the South African Police Service via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They can copy the Head of the City’s Fire and Life Safety Section in their application – Ignatius.email@example.com.
If the application is approved by SAPS, they then have to make contact with the Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Life Safety Section in the area where they plan to hold the display so that a site inspection can be carried out to determine whether the site is safe for a fireworks display.
Apart from ensuring that there are no fire hazards in the immediate surroundings, permission also needs to be sought from residents and businesses in the area, and strict conditions have to be adhered to before, and during the fireworks display to mitigate any potential risk to public health and safety.
‘In recent years there has been a growing call for a ban on fireworks, but only national government has the authority to do so. Every year our enforcement departments and animal welfare organisations have their hands full on these nights.
‘I want to urge parents to be responsible as fireworks are dangerous and can cause serious, if not life threatening, injuries. Explosions at a close range can damage hearing, and then there is the fire risk and trauma caused to pets,’ said Alderman Smith.
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.
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.
Anyone with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks, can report it to the PECC on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.
Source: City Of Cape Town