Those who violate the eThekwini Municipality’s by-laws regarding fireworks could be liable for a fine of R2 500.
With Diwali and Guy Fawkes Day being celebrated on 4 and 5 November, respectively, a metro police spokesperson has advised residents in eThekwini to be cautious when it comes to setting off fireworks.
In South Africa, there are only a few specific days on which the public may set off fireworks. However, it should be noted that the use of fireworks in South Africa are ultimately regulated by by-laws under the Explosives Act, 1956. While this article focuses on the by-laws of Durban, it is advised to always check with local authorities to see if there aren’t specific by-laws that apply to your particular town or city.
Accrdogin to IOL, a metro police spokesperson said in a statement that fireworks could only be set off from sunset to midnight on Diwali on Thursday, 4 November and that those who violate the eThekwini Municipality’s by-laws on Diwali could be liable for a fine of R2 500.
The city’s by-laws state that “low-hazard fireworks such as fountains, lawn lights and sparklers can be lit in private homes”, while “fireworks such as air bombs, supersonic bangs, sound shells, fountain whistles and screeches are prohibited”.
The police spokesperson also told the publication that pet owners must ensure their animals are fitted with collars that have an identification tag with a home address and telephone number, and he urged residents to report any nuisances and to ensure they obtained reference numbers.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Belinda Abraham said loud bangs do not form part of Diwali, and Guy Fawkes has no relevance to South Africa.
“It has become increasingly evident that reckless individuals are using both ‘events’ to utilise fireworks in a, particularly anti-social manner. This includes ignoring any restrictions and causing damage to property, as well as terrifying communities and animals.
“Anyone with an animal is requested to be responsible and to ensure the animal’s safety and comfort. The hearing of animals is far more acute and sensitive than the hearing of a human. If a dog can hear a grasshopper eat, imagine what a firework sounds like,” she said.