With Guy Fawkes just a few weeks away, the City of Cape Town has put plans in place to ensure the safety of revellers and have designated two areas in Mitchell’s Plain for the setting off of fireworks.
These are Swartklip sports complex in Tafelsig and Strandfontein Pavilion – but only until 11pm.
Denzel Ramedies, the Divisional Commander for the Fire and Rescue Services said it was illegal to discharge fireworks anywhere other than a designated site and law enforcement authorities would have a zero-tolerance approach to those who discharged fireworks illegally.
He said there were 12 designated areas across the city where residents would be allowed to discharge shop-bought fireworks under the watchful eye of public safety authorities.
Mr Ramedies said the City’s Fire Safety Inspectors and Law Enforcement officials, together with the Explosives Unit of the South African Police Services (SAPS), would conduct ad-hoc inspections at shops, approved fireworks dealers and fireworks display sites to ensure that all safety requirements were met.
Sub-council 12 chairperson Sheval Arendse said they found that residents discharged firecrackers at home, in parks or in the streets around their homes.
“While many want to enjoy the night of Guy Fawkes, some will tell you that the noise of discharging fireworks versus the sound of firing shots from a pistol is the same.
“Every year the celebration turns into havoc, animals suffer the most in all areas and some are mistreated by owners. If pets are not looked after, they tend to run away from home and some are killed by vehicles.
“I am reiterating that the community should keep pets indoors and keep them calm,” he said.
Mr Ramedies said members of the public should only purchase fireworks from authorised dealers and shops displaying the relevant permits from the SAPS.
“Informal traders may try to sell fireworks without a permit, but this is not allowed in terms of the Informal Trading By-law,” he said.
Mr Ramedies said fireworks were only permitted to be sold in sealed packages, as received from the suppliers.
Children under the age of 16 are not allowed by law to purchase and/or discharge fireworks without adult supervision.
“Residents are reminded that anyone discharging shop-bought fireworks at these sites do so at their own risk. The City will not be held liable for any claims for injury or damage that may occur from the use of fireworks,” he said.
Mr Ramedies said a number of informal traders in the Town Centre had been issued with valid SAPS permits. All valid permit holders had to comply with the conditions of the permit, he added.
Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks can report this to the Metro police call centre on 0860-POLICE (765423) or to the SAPS on 10111.
To obtain more information about the location of the designated sites, contact the City’s Disaster Operations Centre on 080-911-HELP (4357).