The City dropped a bombshell on Friday, when it announced that it has decided to do away with designated sites for fireworks this year.
Generally the discharging of fireworks is not allowed in terms of the Community Fire Safety By-law, but the City has over the past few years made an exception to accommodate this practice for Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Year’s Eve.
However, this year, mense will not be able to blaas klappertjies on these days anywhere in the city, as it is proving to be too expensive for the City, and public sentiment has changed.
JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, says a number of factors made the City change course this year, including:
The decreased appetite from sub councils to approve designated sites.
The cost associated with running the sites, including deploying staff and resources, including Law Enforcement, Metro Police, Traffic and Fire and Rescue Services.
And growing public sentiment opposing the use of fireworks.
“Given that there will be no designated sites this year, the City appeals to residents to please refrain from setting off fireworks,” Smith said.
“We remind residents 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,” Smith said.
While this is a victory for animals and animal lovers, who have complained about traumatised pets scared by the sound of firecrackers, most Daily Voice readers on Facebook agree with the move.
Bronwyn van Schalkwyk says the problem starts with stores selling fireworks: “They need to crack down on stores that sell firecrackers. I’m all for them shutting Guy Fawkes down. People remain absolutely irresponsible and each year people are injured, children get hurt, animals suffer, and the litter in the streets is appalling.”
Christina Johnson agreed: “If people sell it then there will be fireworks. The meaning for that day is lost as people’s places burn down, animals get hurt.”
Carmen van der Schyff adds: “You can’t tell if it’s a klappertjie or gun shot.”
Byron Brent George is sad kids can’t enjoy the fireworks: “Yes, I own a dog. But I do have a son that will be amazed by a small firework display. Don’t be so [email protected] old now that you all have grown out of fireworks celebration.”