When can I set off fireworks?

Firework safety is essential during the festive season. Photo: File.

Setting off fireworks, although not illegal, can be a distressing time for both humans and animals over the festive season.

Come New Year’s celebrations, it becomes even worse.

A good thing to know is what the City of Johannesburg’s bylaws say about setting off fireworks, making sure a Metro police officer does not come knocking on your door on the first of the new year.

According to City bylaws, fireworks are allowed on specific days, at specific times:

  •  Diwali from 7pm to 10pm
  •  Christmas Eve from 7pm to 10pm
  • Day of Goodwill, 26 December, from 7pm to 10pm
  • New Year’s eve, 31 December, from 11pm to 1am
  •  New Year’s Day, 1 January 2017, from 7pm to 10pm
  • Chinese new year from 7pm to 10pm
  • Human Rights day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Freedom Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Guy Fawkes Day from 7pm to 10pm

MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun, warned against setting off fireworks outside of the stipulated time. Ignoring the rules carries a fine of R500.

And buying fireworks from street vendors is illegal. According to Sun, customers buying from vendors or dealers that do not sell quality checked products run the risk of bodily harm when igniting the firework.

Any person or dealers found selling fireworks in contravention of the Explosives Act (Act 1956) face a fine of R1 500.

So watch out for dodgy dealers and make sure you don’t miss the curfew for setting off fireworks on Christmas, Day of Goodwill (or Boxing Day as some call it), New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Chantelle Fourie

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