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City issues warning ahead of Guy Fawkes Day

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The City of Cape Town has issued a call for locals to adhere to the rule of the law, when discharging fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day. This follows a spate of complaints received during last year’s addition of the annual event, which saw nearly 13 000 fireworks being confiscated on the day. This included the confiscation of illegally sold fireworks, all of which totalled more than R10 000.

In a press statement issued on Monday, City Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, urged people to be mindful when letting off fireworks.

‘It is illegal to discharge fireworks outside specific designated areas. It is also illegal to buy fireworks from traders without valid police-issued permits. Sadly, many Capetonians continue to disregard the law and end up terrorising their neighbours who have to put up with noise,” read the statement.

The City has warned of three important fireworks regulations that need to be taken into account. This includes the baring of sales to children under the age of 16 without adult supervision, the impermissibility of selling fireworks that are not in sealed packages, and that any discharging of shop bought fireworks are done at the persons own risk.

“The City has limited resources and we cannot be everywhere all of the time, so we appeal to residents to work with us to ensure a safe city. Do the right thing and either take your neighbours to task if they’re breaking the law or report the matter to the City or the SAPS,” urged Smith.

In recent years there has also been an emergence of the use of Chinese Lanterns, which are candles placed in a paper casing that are released into the air. The City has expressed concern that once the candle burns out and the lantern falls to the ground, there would be a risk that it could start runaway fires.

“In addition, once airborne and floating through the sky, these lanterns give the false impression that a distress signal has been discharged with marine flares. This may result in the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) launching a search for non-existent people in distress, which is a great waste of resources,” he said.

The City has specifically designated eight areas, from which the discharge of fireworks will be allowed on Guy Fawkes. These areas will be open between 6pm and midnight on the day. They include:

– The Bishop Lavis sports field

– The Wesfleur sports field, Atlantis

– The Macassar Beach parking area

– The Swartklip Sports Complex, Mitchells Plain

– Maidens Cove parking area, Camps Bay

– Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side)

– The Strandfontein Pavilion

– and the Beachfront opposite the tourism centre, Table View

Guy Fawkes takes place on the 5th November. Any fireworks complaints may be directed to the Metro police at 0860 765 423, or SAPS on 10111. For non-firework related emergencies, contact the Public Emergency Centre on 107 via landline, or 021 480 7700 via cellphone. VOC


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