The High court in Johannesburg has granted an interdict to the Kempton Park SPCA to forbid the display of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
The park SPCA branch chairperson, Kira Sparrow made this revelation on Thursday, saying they have succeeded in obtaining interdict against the Ekurhuleni metro, forbidding the display of fireworks on New Year’s Eve, at Dries Niemandt.
This announcement followed huge criticism of the New Year’s extravaganza announced by the municipality on Wednesday.
SPCA alongside residents turned against the display saying they are disappointed with the city’s apparent lack of consideration for animals.
“The judge was in our favour and granted us the order,” Kira Sparrow told reporters as she thanked Simon Lapping, the ward councillor who accompanied her to the court
The City of Ekurhuleni has welcomed the interdict, saying it had already rejected a request by the organisers to set off the explosives last week because of the park’s proximity to a residential area.
Having received the news about the court interdict, the metro released a statement on its Facebook page to advise they had never intended to release fireworks anyway.
“Our rejection came when pre-programmed social media messages were already out. Residents can rest assured that we have not granted permission for this.” Spokesperson Themba Gadebe said.
Sparrow also said ” we believe this is an afterthought, as they contacted me this morning and so were well aware of our intentions,”
But Kempton Park councillor Simon Lapping insists proper processes were not followed by the municipality.
“The Kempton Park SPCA was not given adequate opportunity to address this issue during normal working hours.”
The municipality has urged residents to look after all animals during New Year’s Eve celebrations and to comply with its fireworks by-laws.
The rejection for a fireworks licence was based on the proximity to the residential area and flights passing to and from OR Tambo International Airport.
“Pyrotechnics is classified as staging theatrical effects such as stage fountains, mines, comets and stadium pyro. The joint organising committee includes members of the metro police and emergency services and approves all event logistics before they are staged.
“The decibel (DB) rating of pyrotechnics is below 90 DB, which isn’t louder than the normal PA systems at events. The product height range is between 9m and 45m. Fireworks on the other hand start from 120 DB and can reach heights up to 180-200 metres.”
The metro said the city has partnered with township entrepreneurs who, separately, organised events for the end of year. Ekurhuleni has facilitated the combination of these events into a three-day New Year’s celebration – the first of its kind in South Africa.