Friday, 9 November 2012

City cautions residents to use fireworks safely when celebrating Diwali

The City of Cape Town appeals to Capetonians to be cautious and sensible when attending organised fireworks displays or discharging shop-bought fireworks on 13 November 2012, when celebrating Diwali. The Diwali date changes every year as the day is calculated according to the position of the moon.

The Hindu celebration of Diwali or Deepavali, which means a row of lights, is a significant religious ritual that goes back in time to the ancient religion, culture and folklore of India. Discharging fireworks is a tradition symbolising the victory of light over darkness and good over evil and follows a month-long fast and abstinence from meat and alcohol by Hindus.

The City has identified and made available eight designated areas where members of the public may discharge shop-bought fireworks under the watchful eye of public safety authorities.

It is illegal to discharge fireworks other than at designated sites and law enforcement authorities will have a zero-tolerance approach to those who discharge fireworks illegally.

The City has designated the following areas for the discharge of fireworks:

· Bishop Lavis Sportsfield, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis

· Wesfleur Sportsfield, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis

· Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar

· Swartklip Sports Complex, corner Spine and Swartklip Roads, Mitchells Plain

· Maidens Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay

· Athlone Stadium parking area (Eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone

· Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein

· Beachfront opposite Tourism Centre, Table View

The City’s Fire Safety Inspectors and Law Enforcement officials, together with the Explosives Unit of the South African Police Services (SAPS), will conduct inspections at fireworks display sites to ensure that all safety requirements are met.

All approved, organised fireworks displays in Cape Town are presented by licensed fireworks contractors who operate under the Explosives Act, Number 26 of 1956; the Explosives Regulations; and the City’s Community Fire Safety By-Law.

Members of the public who wish to attend these fireworks displays must follow safety instructions given by fireworks operators (pyrotechnists), event organisers and security personnel and keep behind safety barriers.

Members of the public should only purchase fireworks from authorised dealers and shops displaying the relevant permits from the SAPS. Informal traders may try to sell fireworks without a permit, but this is not allowed in terms of the Informal Trading By-law.

Fireworks are only permitted to be sold in sealed packages, as received from the suppliers.

Children under the age of 16 are not allowed by law to purchase and/or discharge fireworks without adult supervision. Residents are reminded that anyone discharging shop-bought fireworks at these sites do so at their own risk. The City will not be held liable for any claims for injury or damage that may occur from the use of fireworks.

Residents are encouraged to keep their pets safe on Tuesday 13 November 2012. Before leaving your home on the day please ensure that your pets are safely secured on your property, in familiar surroundings and out of harm’s way.

Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks can report the information to the Metro Police Call Centre on 0860-POLICE (765423) or to the SAPS on 10111.

To obtain more information about the location of the designated sites, please contact the City’s Disaster Operations Centre on 080-911-HELP (4357).


Source: Wilfred Schrevian Evan Solomons-Johannes

Head: Systems Integration, Special Projects

Acting Head: Disaster Operations Centre

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