New Year celebrations – compliance with the use of fireworks

South African Police Service

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New Year celebrations - compliance with the use of fireworks
New Year celebrations - compliance with the use of fireworks

The South African Police Service (SAPS) together with other role players are responsible to ensure general safety including enforcement of various legislation, as part of Operation Back to Basics: Safer festive Season 2016/2017.

The New Year celebrations tend to be a challenge, particularly compliance with the use of fireworks. The public is reminded that fireworks in the country are controlled in terms of the Explosives Act, 1956 (ACT NO. 26 of 1956). Furthermore, various municipalities have by-laws that restrict and give guide about the use or discharge of fireworks.

Members of the community 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.

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.

The community is urged 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.

South Africa Today – South Africa News

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