While there were less incidents than last year, the City of Cape Town remains concerned by the reckless behaviour on Guy Fawkes Day. Every year Capetonians celebrate the holiday of Guy Fawkes by discharging fireworks. However there are those who indulge in irresponsible behaviour and harm the lives of others as well as their own. Some of the incidents included fireworks related injuries but rituals synonymous with the holiday and vandalism. Amongst these are the throwing of paint on people, property and vehicles, cutting people with razors and the throwing of eggs.
“This thing of cutting people with razor and throwing people and property with paint is unacceptable and is something you can go to prison for,” says Mayoral committee member of safety and security Alderman JP Smith.
Residents discharging fireworks illegally can be charged a maximum fine of R600 or 12 months in jail. There were 16 incidents of injuries – 10 of children and 6 of adults. These injuries included injuries to the hands and face. Victims are currently being treated at Groote Schuur and Red Cross hospital.
“Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services have dealt with four cases of Guy Fawkes related firework injuries so far and are busy treating the rest.
Two adult males and two male children suffered serious injuries to their hands in Swartklip,” says spokesperson for the Western Cape health department’s Emergency Medical Services Roberts Daniels.
“Parents must supervise children operating with fireworks and use fireworks responsibly,” adds Smith.
Affected areas included Mitchell’s Plain, Ottery, Manenberg and Macassar.
The City wants firework users to take into consideration the safety of children and animals before indulging in reckless behaviour on the holiday that will endangers the lives of children and animals.
“Residents are encouraged to keep their pets safely indoors where possible. Animals are easily frightened by fireworks, and can become distressed or try to escape from their properties. Before you leave your home on Guy Fawkes, please ensure that your pets are safely secured on your property, in familiar surroundings and out of harm’s way,” says Smith.
In recent years in South Africa it has become illegal to discharge fireworks displays in backyards for safety and regulatory reasons; however, City of Cape Town officials have deemed certain parks and public areas safe locations for setting off certain sparklers and crackers.
Members of the public are urged to purchase fireworks from registered suppliers who can produce their permits issued by SAPS. Shop-bought fireworks discharged at approved locations are done so at the owner’s risk.
“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,” says Smith.
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,” says Smith.
Capetonians were allowed to watch and discharge fireworks for Guy Fawkes 2015 between 6pm until 12am in the following designated spots:
• Tourism Centre, Athens Road, Table View beachfront
• Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis
• Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis
• Metropolitan sports grounds, Melkhout Street, Bonteheuwel
• Delft Central sports grounds, Main Road, Delft
• Swartklip sports complex, Swartklip Road, Mitchells Plain
• Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone
• Maiden’s Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
• Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein
• Sarepta sports complex
• Blue Downs sports field
• Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar
The City of Cape Town has paramedics at each designated site. VOC