eThekwini residents urged to engage in peaceful New Year’s celebration
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Durban – The eThekwini Municipality appeals to residents to distance themselves from the discharging of fireworks to celebrate the New Year and instead, light a candle in their homes.
Following the address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 29 December, Metro Police Senior Superintendent, Parboo Sewpersad said: “We urge residents to hold peaceful celebrations to bring in 2021, by lighting a candle in their homes as a tribute to those lives lost as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic, and to also acknowledge the contribution by frontline workers.”
Sewpersad added that if residents are engaging in the discharging of fireworks, they must do so in a responsible manner, taking into consideration the health and safety of their furry family members. Pets must be kept away from the fireworks and must have an identification tag with the details of the owner, including their home address and contact number.
Fireworks are allowed only on New Year’s Eve, from 23:45pm to 00:15am.
Bylaws are in place that govern the lighting of fireworks and fines will be issued if anyone is caught in contravention. Fireworks must be restricted to a person’s property and not be lit on a public road.
“Residents could face fines of up to R3 500 as the admission of guilt fine for discharging fireworks on the road is R1 000, and the fine for discharging of fireworks in public is R2 500,” warned Sewpersad.
The bylaw states:
• Low-hazard fireworks, such as fountains, lawn lights and sparkles can be lit in private homes.
• Fireworks such as air bombs, supersonic bangs, sound shells, fountain whistles and screeches are prohibited as they cause a disturbance and are a nuisance to neighbours.
• The bylaw also called for children under 16 years of age to be properly supervised by an adult when letting off fireworks.
• Fireworks should be detonated away from hospitals, clinics, old age/nursing homes, animal welfare and petrol stations. Fireworks should not be pointed towards any person as this is dangerous.
• No person shall ignite, discharge or explode any fireworks on any public road, residence, or private dwelling without the knowledge and consent of the occupant or owner of the property.
• It shall be unlawful for any person to point or direct a firework at any person, animal, building or motor vehicle where such firework is in the process of exploding or detonating.
• No person shall light or detonate fireworks in any place where animals are kept.
• No person may terrify, cause stress or endanger the life of any animal with fireworks or by any other means.
• Residents are also reminded that fireworks cannot be recycled and therefore they need to be disposed appropriately, in black bin bags.
• The Municipality urges residents not to dispose fireworks in orange refuse bags as this is deemed unsafe since fireworks cannot be recycled.
Superintendent Sewpersad concluded that the Durban Metro Police have been inundated with calls and complaints with regards to the defiance of some residents in Queensburgh, regarding their discharging of fireworks on a public roadway. “We have the full support of the National Prosecuting Authority in bringing such culprits to book. They will face the full might of the law. This applies to residents in all areas of the City as well.”
For emergencies, contact 031 361 0000.