The City of Cape Town has said that media reports have missed the mark regarding the setting off of fireworks.
On Friday 11 October 2019, The City of Cape Town announced that they will not have designated sites this year for Diwali, Guy Fawkes and New Year’s Eve.
They further indicated that while there have for years been calls to ban fireworks outright, the City does not have the power to ban fireworks outright.
JP Smith clarified that the City of Cape Town has instead chosen not to have designated City sites this year.
The City has, in consultation with interested parties, decided to make available the parking lot at Athlone Stadium on Sunday 27 October 2019, for Diwali celebrations.
In respect of the issue in general, the City would like to set the record straight:
- The City’s decision to forego designated fireworks sites does not mean the City has banned fireworks
- The City is not OBLIGATED to provide designated fireworks sites. The Community Fire Safety By-law 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’
- The Community Fire Safety By-law, read in conjunction with the Explosives Act, permit applications for public fireworks displays
- Any person who wishes to have a fireworks display can apply for said permit, subject to the provisions of the aforementioned legislation
- The Explosives Act is very strict about the importing and use of fireworks
- However, we have a problem with illegal fireworks imports, sale and detonation, particularly in Cape Town between October and January annually
- As indicated, the City CANNOT ban fireworks outright. Only national government has the power to do this.
JP Smith reiterated 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.
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