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    Firework displays only allowed with permit, says City of Cape Town

    Cape Town – With Diwali and Guy Fawkes fast approaching, the City has reminded Cape residents that firework displays will only be allowed where a permit has been applied for in terms of the relevant legislation.People wishing to host fireworks displays can apply for a permit to do so in terms of the National Explosives Act and the Community Fire Safety By-Law. Any event where 200-plus attendees are expected, or that requires any infrastructure build, will also require an events permit from the City.Since 2019, the City no longer provides designated fireworks sites for Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Year’s Eve. Chapter 11 of the Community Fire Safety By-law, which deals with fireworks, 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.Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said: “In the past, providing designated sites did not deter the illegal discharge of fireworks in residential areas and it remains a problem as evidenced by the number of complaints we receive during the first week of November and on New Year’s Eve. “Many residents, especially pet owners, oppose the use of fireworks and animal welfare organisations have their hands full on these nights. “Residents are reminded that only national government has the authority to ban fireworks,“ said Smith.Those wishing to apply for a permit to host a fireworks display need to apply to the SAPS via email, on capetown.explosives.cmrd@saps.gov.za.They can copy the head of the City’s Fire and Life Safety Section in their application – Ignatius.smart@capetown.gov.za.If the application is approved by the SAPS, they then have to make contact with the Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Life Safety Section in the area where they plan to hold the display so that a site inspection can be carried out to determine whether the site is safe for a fireworks display.Apart from ensuring that there are no fire hazards in the immediate surroundings, permission also needs to be sought from residents and businesses in the area, and strict conditions have to be adhered to before and during the fireworks display to mitigate any potential risk to public health and safety.The public is reminded that the import and sale of fireworks without the necessary permissions outlined in the Explosives Act is illegal, as is the discharge of fireworks in an area not specifically designated for it.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.Anyone with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks should report this to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the SAPS on 10111.Cape Argus

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