With both Diwali and Guy Fawkes Day coming up, the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate is bracing itself for an influx of fireworks related complaints.
Traditionally, Guy Fawkes celebrations start from the last week of October into the second week of November. This is typically when fireworks sales start hitting the shelves. During these two weeks, the Public Emergency Communication Centre received an increase in complaints related to fireworks, particularly on 5 November.
The City closed all of its designated fireworks sites several years ago. Therefore, residents who plan to celebrate Guy Fawkes, as well as Diwali on 12 November, are reminded that no fireworks display will be allowed without an official permit.
“Although there has been a notable decrease in complaints over the past two years, the number of calls remain of concern, particularly as many of the complaints stem from residential areas.” – Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith
Fireworks permits and regulations
Those who are planning to organize fireworks displays must obtain a permit under the National Explosives Act and the Community Fire Safety By-Law. Events expecting 200 or more guests or requiring infrastructure will additionally need an Events permit from the City.
To apply for a display permit, contact the South African Police Service via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include Liam.Scheepers2@capetown.gov.za in your application.
Upon SAPS approval, coordinate with the Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Life Safety Section in the event area for a site inspection to ensure safety. Permission from residents and businesses in the vicinity is crucial.
Sales and usage
Importing and selling fireworks without Explosives Act permissions are illegal, as is discharging fireworks in non-designated areas.
Individuals can receive fines from R200 for using fireworks in buildings or public spaces, R300 for selling to those under 16, and R300 for allowing unsupervised handling by those under 16.