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City warns of illegal discharging of fireworks

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With 173 fireworks-related complaints and recorded numerous fireworks-related injuries on Guy Fawkes last month, the City of Cape Town has warned residents to act within the ambit of the law when discharging fireworks this New Years Eve.

“The City of Cape Town appeals to residents to be cautious and sensible if discharging fireworks as part of the evening’s festivities,” urged the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.

Fireworks may only be used in the following eight designated zones: Bishop Lavis sports field; Wesfleur sports field in Atlantis; Macassar Beach parking area in Macassar; Swartklip Sports Complex, corner of Spine and Swartklip Roads, Mitchells Plain; Maidens Cove parking area in Victoria Road, Camps Bay; Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side) at Klipfontein Road Athlone; Strandfontein Pavilion in Strandfontein; and at the Beachfront opposite the tourism centre in Table View.

Residents are warned that discharging fireworks in any other area outside of the designated fireworks zones is illegal and offenders will be penalized.

“Those discharging fireworks outside the designated areas will be fine or the confiscation of the fireworks they possess,” warned Smith.

“The law also matters very little to some until there is an incident where someone gets hurt, or worse – so let’s work together to prevent any incidents.”

“On New Year’s Eve, please keep your pets safely indoors where possible as animals are easily frightened by fireworks and can become distressed or try to escape. If you’re going out on New Year’s Eve, please ensure that your pets are safely secured on your property, in familiar surroundings and out of harm’s way,” Smith advised.

The following safety tips need to be adhered to when discharging fireworks:

– Only discharge fireworks that have been purchased from an accredited dealer.

-Children must be supervised at all times when around fireworks.

-Do not discharge fireworks indoors

-Ensure that fireworks are discharged out of range of spectators and any other structures or vehicles.

-Do not try to reignite a ‘dud’ as it could explode near your hands or face.

-Only light one firework at a time.

-Do not make your own fireworks.

-Only use fireworks as directed by the instructions printed on the packaging.

– Do not light fireworks inside any type of container.

-Never discharge fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

The City urges residents to work with authorities to ensure the safety of everyone on New Year’s Eve.

“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,” says Smith. VOC

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