From the news desk

City urges common sense on New Year’s weekend

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Festive celebrations are in full swing and, with the New Year’s Eve weekend coming up, the City of Cape Town has appealed to the public to exercise caution, especially when discharging fireworks.

“Good weather is expected and that means many people will ring in the New Year with dazzling displays of exploding pyrotechnics. Fireworks are beautiful but also dangerous. I want to urge the public to exercise caution when discharging fireworks. With the current water crisis, we cannot afford any fires caused by negligence,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, JP Smith.

On New Year’s Eve, fireworks must only be discharged in designated areas. These are the same sites which were available to the public for Guy Fawkes:
• Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone
• Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis
• Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis
• Metropolitan sports grounds, Melkhout Street, Bonteheuwel
• Blue Downs sports field, Blue Downs
• Maiden’s Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
• Delft Central sports grounds, Main Road, Delft
• Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar
• Swartklip sports complex, Swartklip Road, Mitchells Plain
• Sarepta sports complex, Sarepta
• Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein
• Tourism Centre, Athens Road, Table View beachfront (with the following road closures: Marine Drive between Dolphin Beach Hotel and Marine Circle; Waves Edge will be closed off at Athens Road, Popham and Dunbar Streets)

All designated fireworks areas will be patrolled by City Law Enforcement and Metro Police officers as well as a fire inspector. Persons under the age of 16 may only handle and discharge fireworks when supervised by an adult and the cut-off time for discharging fireworks is 00:30.

Should weather conditions, such as the wind, not be conducive to the discharge of fireworks on the day the designated site will be closed.

Below is a list of safety tips for the discharging of fireworks:
• Only discharge fireworks that are bought at an accredited shop
• Only discharge fireworks at the designated sites
• Only use fireworks as directed by the instructions printed on the package
• Children must be supervised at all times when around fireworks
• Do not discharge fireworks indoors
• Make sure that you discharge the fireworks out of range of spectators and any other structures or vehicles
• Do not try to re-ignite a ‘dud’ as it could explode near your hands or face
• Only light one firework at a time
• Do not make your own fireworks
• Do not light fireworks inside any type of container
• Never discharge fireworks while under the influence of intoxicating substances

“Residents are also reminded that the use of Chinese lanterns is not permitted. Chinese lanterns increase the risk of fires as they’re left to float into the air and could land anywhere. Given the water situation, we need everyone to be especially cautious when handling fireworks to prevent fires. Use these sites responsibly and refrain from discharging fireworks in areas not designated for the purpose. To ensure these events are incident-free is a joint responsibility. Apart from policing the designated areas, the City’s enforcement services will also confiscate illegal fireworks and issue fines to individuals found to be contravening the relevant by-laws,” said Alderman Smith.

General emergencies can be directed via the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by calling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline. Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks can report this to the Metro Police Call Centre on 0860-POLICE (765 423) or to the South African Police Service on 10111.

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