In a recent statement by Ward 83 councillor, Suzanne Clarke, she issued a warning to residents who use fireworks during the Diwali celebration.
Diwali this year is from 6 to 8 November. Clarke stated that the City of Johannesburg’s by-laws are pretty contradictory on fireworks, but one of the best and most common-sense guides is on the City Parks website and dates from 2015. She has reproduced it below with some minor edits:
The do’s and don’ts of Diwali fireworks
Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) has called on residents to comply with the City’s fireworks by-laws and exercise restraint when they celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and Diwali.
EMS spokesperson, Nana Radebe, said fireworks can only be set off between 7pm and 10pm. Anyone who does not abide by the by-law faces a R1 500 fine. Radebe said residents also need to be mindful of children and pets.
“No one under the age of 16 is allowed to handle or use fireworks, except when they are under the supervision of an adult,” Radebe cautioned.
“You cannot use fireworks within 500 metres of any explosives factory, explosives storage place, petrol depot, petrol station, inside any building and at any public place, including schools, old age homes and hospitals,” she added.
Residents are urged to:
– Pick a site appropriate for lighting fireworks;
– Keep animals indoors, with the curtains closed and the TV or radio switched on to distract them;
– Check the wind direction before starting the display;
– Keep the fireworks out of children’s reach; and
– Pick up all the remains of the fireworks after the display.
Fireworks should only be handled by adults. Children should watch the display from a distance.
Residents usually need written permission from the Fireworks Working Committee or Chief Fire Officer in their region to stage a fireworks display.
However, permission is not needed for days of cultural and religious celebrations, including Diwali, Chinese New Year, Human Rights Day, Guy Fawkes Day, Christmas Eve and the Day of Goodwill. But you must abide by the stipulated times mentioned above.
In case of an emergency, residents are urged to call 011 375 5911 or 10111.
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