The City of Cape Town’s Directorate of Safety and Security says despite it being illegal to set off fireworks within the Metro, without a special license, many residents are ignoring calls to not sell or use these fireworks during their holiday celebrations.
The City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre last year, during Guy Fawkes celebrations, recorded more than 350 complaints about the setting off of fireworks and 63 for the selling of fireworks.
Mayoral Committee member at the Directorate, JP Smith says 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.
Smith says those who want to host these 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.
He says Chapter 11 of 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.
Smith advises those 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 email@example.com. They can copy the Head of the City’s Fire and Life Safety Section in their application – Ignatius.firstname.lastname@example.org.
He says in recent years there has been a growing call for a ban on fireworks, but only the national government has the authority to do so. He adds that every year law enforcement departments and animal welfare organizations have their hands full on these nights.
The import and sale of fireworks without the necessary permissions outlined in the Explosives Act are illegal, as is the discharge of fireworks in an area not specifically designated for it.
Smith says 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.
He urges residents to report transgressors to the PECC on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.
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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.
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) October 2, 2022