The South African Police Service (SAPS) has issued a statement specifying the things you ought to know about using fireworks on new year’s eve.
SAPS acknowledged that the new year celebrations tend to be a challenge due to the use of fireworks that comes with the celebrations.
Thus, it reminded the public that fireworks in South Africa are controlled in terms of the Explosives Act, 1956 (ACT NO. 26 of 1956). And, that various municipalities have by-laws that restrict and give guide about the use or discharge of fireworks.
With the foregoing, SAPS highlighted that South African must take note that it is unlawful for any person to use or discharge any fireworks:
- Within 500 meters of any explosives magazine, explosives factory, petroleum depot or gasometer.
- In any building or any public thoroughfare.
- In any other public place or resort, except with the prior written permission of the local authority.
An excerpt from the statement read:
“The SAPS would like to reiterate that only wholesale and retail dealers that are licenced in terms of the Explosives Act, and who are in possession of a valid licence issued by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, may deal in the sale of fireworks.
No fireworks may be sold by a street hawker or vendor at a flea market, from the boot of a vehicle or trailer in contravention of the Explosives Act.
Any person who by any act or omission commits a breach of any of the regulations of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding R600 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
The explosives that were used to commit the offence with, may be confiscated, in which case the cost of disposal thereof shall be borne by the accused.”
SAPS further urged South Africans to take heed and apply the following safety hints:
- Buy only legal fireworks.
- Always use fireworks outdoors.
- Do not hold lit fireworks in your hand.
- Have a hose or bucket of water nearby.
- Stand back from all fireworks once they are lit.
- Keep away nearby pets and under control.
- Always comply with instructions on the fireworks.
- Children should always use or light fireworks under the supervision of parents.
- Never try to make your own fireworks.
- Always point them away from persons, houses and flammable substances.
- Do not allow children to pick-up pieces of fireworks immediately – some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
Commenting, the North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane stressed that members of the community must take heed and comply with the law to avoid unnecessary injuries due to carelessness and non-compliance.