Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG): Fireworks and Your Rights

Friday, 6 November 2009

Fireworks and Your Rights


Do fireworks seem to get louder and more scary every year? Does the period between that awful old colonial holiday of Guy Fawkes and New Year have you, your children and your terrified pets running for cover? Are you angry that, unlike smoking in public places, the intrusion of fireworks seems to be so poorly regulated?

The truth is that there are a swathe of by-laws in place that regulate the use of fireworks, and if you know your rights, you can exercise them.

Luckily, the city itself has posted comprehensive details of when, where and under what circumstances fireworks can be used on its web site, and you can check out this information here.

According to the by-laws, fireworks may only be used under clearly-defined circumstances on the following days and at the following times:
  • New Year's Eve from 11pm to 1am
  • New Year's Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Lag b'omer from 7pm to 10pm
  • Chinese New Year from 7pm to 10pm
  • Human Rights Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Freedom Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Diwali from 7pm to 10pm
  • Guy Fawkes Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Christmas Eve from 7pm to 10pm
  • Day of Goodwill from 7pm to 10pm

Also, any person, group or organisation that wishes to hold a fireworks display has to apply for a permit, and this application has to be made available for public commentary and objections. You can check out who's applied for permits by contacting the Chief Fire Officer in your area.

In case of emergencies related to fireworks, call Joburg Emergency Connect on 011 375 5911 or the nationwide emergency response line on 10111.

A FULL COPY OF THE JOBURG METRO EMERGENCY SERVICES BY-LAWS CAN BE FOUND HERE (PDF 1MB).

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