The City of Cape Town retracts on its statement and allows firework site for Diwali

Photo by Alexander Kagan on Unsplash

Just days following a statement in which the City of Cape Town declared that designated firework sites during public celebrations would be entirely banned, it released another statement confirming that there will be a designated area for the upcoming Hindu festival, Diwali.

According to the original statement -which recieved a strong response from the public- a number of factors lead the City to change its mind this year, including the cost associated with running the sites, which include deploying resources such as, law enforcement, metro police, traffic and fire and rescue services along with the growing public sentiment opposing the use of fireworks as well as animal welfare concerns.

While many residents welcomed the decision to not have the designated sites in the future, individuals within the Hindu community have expressed their disdain and raised concerns about the impact the decision will have on Diwali later this month. In turn, the City has decided to make the parking lot at Athlone Stadium available on October 27, 2019, for Diwali celebrations and fireworks display since the festival did not have enough time to apply for the permit.

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People in and around the area are encouraged to keep pets indoors and sheltered as much as possible from the explosive sounds which are not only unpleasant but also frightening for them. The City clarified that it does not have the power to completely ban fireworks and that such a ban would need to implemented by the national government.

“Organised fireworks displays can still be applied for because the City has not imposed a ban on fireworks – we have simply decided not to have designated City sites this year. The Community Fire Safety By-law, read in conjunction with the Explosives Act, permit applications for public fireworks displays,” read the public statement.

“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 an 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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The public are encouraged to report any information regarding the sale or use of fireworks to The City of Cape Town on their Public Emergency Call Centre on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.

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Photo by Elisha Terada on Unsplash

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