November Fireworks days (Guy Fawkes – 5 Nov and Divali – 9 Nov)

Statement on official Fireworks policy of City of Johannesburg

Issued by: Cllr Tim Sargeant – DA Council Spokesperson on Environmental Matters

11 October 2007

Rights of residents and domestic and other animals
Annual illegal noise and consequent animal terror

“Fireworks Month” (November) is around the corner and the annual Johannesburg fireworks noise frenzy is about to affect every resident of the City as well as their pets and other suburban animals and birds.

Improper use of fireworks is illegal in Johannesburg and it is important to remind residents about the City’s strict fireworks regulations and about the rights of residents to demand Council action against illegal fireworks usage.

A few facts:-

Unless special Council authorisation has been applied for and granted, there are only 11 days annually when residents are allowed to “light or ignite” fireworks. Guy Fawkes and Divali are such days. (R 500 fine on other days).

Except for New Year’s Eve, the only permissible time period for igniting fireworks on these days is between 19h00 and 22h00 (7 to 10 pm). (R 500 fine at any other time).

No person may light or ignite fireworks in any place where animals are present (R 1 000 fine). This includes domestic homes.

No person may allow any minor (child) under his or her control to “use, light or ignite” fireworks (R 1 500 fine). No exceptions to this rule.

No person may use fireworks on any agricultural holding or at any school or senior citizens’ residence without special Council authorisation ( R 1 000 to R 1 500 fine). This authorisation must be sought well in advance of intended day.

No person can use fireworks within 500 metres of any petrol depot or petrol station without special Council authorisation ( R 1 500 fine).

No person or organisation can “present a fireworks display” unless formally authorised to do so by the Council (at least 14 days’ notice before the display is required by Council to consider such an application). Authorisation is also required from the Civil Aviation Authority and the Chief Inspector of Explosives. (Multiple fines of R 1 500 are applicable).

At such a display (should permission be granted) a pyrotechnist and SA Police Services explosives expert must be present at all times. (R 1 500 fines).

No person may deal in fireworks (sell or make available) unless they hold a fireworks licence in terms of the Explosives Act as well as the written authority of the Chief Fire Officer.(R 1 500 fine).
The reign of terror which afflicts Johannesburg’s large pet population when people indiscriminately (and often criminally) ignite noisy fireworks at all times of the day and night gets worse every year.

Firm enforcement of the by-laws will assist in reducing the noise and panic levels and allow people (and their pets) to plan for “noisy” periods thus producing a quieter, safer environment for all concerned.

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  1. Who can I get to fine illigal fireowrks sellers? I live in a small place and there are more than one tuck shop that is selling fireworks from small crackers to rockets to under aged children. I know for a fack they don’t have a fireworks licence. They are selling what I know as “cherry bombs” and “egg bombs” to children of all ages without a care how they use them. Can someone please reccomend who I can get to fine and shut these people down?

  2. Unfortunatly any firework makes a bang if it is used for aerial purposes.I do agree that crackers are dangerous and should be banned. There is a difference as fireworks can be beautiful and exciting when left to qualified pyrotechnicians that conduct displays in a safe and controlled manner.People should distinguish between crackers and fireworks. You can still use fountains and the like without too much noise. Pets should be at least kept in a Protected environment as they are sensitive to noise and will try and get away.Owners need to also take responsibility for their pets. Not only noise from fireworks but thunder and lightening also affect pets.

  3. All the above laws mentioned are blatantly disregarded in Margate and law enforcement do nothing to fine or arrest lawbreakers in this regard
    Having these laws in place are meaningless if not enforced fireworks are as I write the freely being at the local taxi rank directly accross the road from the police station how’s that for law enforcement

  4. Fireworks are lovely and welcome but not the excessively loud gun-shot sounds of some of them. Diwali is about lights, not noise louder than thunder. I am indian and a dog owner who keeps my dogs indoors during the 2 nights of festivities. My dogs are still terrified and still get a fright everytime a fool sets off a boomer. I wish people would think before they justify their narrow minded, selfish views about Diwali and their subsequent behavious. How can we educate more people about responsible fireworks usage? How do we get them to show some consideration to animals, younge children and even us older ones. Those loud shots startle us all.

  5. So if we make an illagal thing allowed on special days like guyfawks & diwali to reduce the stress and panic why don’t we also do that for the unlawful acts of murdery adlnd robery that way we can plan for all traumatic events. I live in a thatch roof house & people let of fireworks so close they bang above our roof. Should I plan ahead and move my house every November & new year?

  6. We need to get fireworks banned totally and not have the idiots we have that let them off. We I told some of my co-workers that they cannot let off crackers otherwise the police will fine them, they laughed and said that they are too lazy to drive around and charge them for letting off crackers. Vote to have them BANNED TOTALLY and not be able to import them at all.

  7. Croydon Kempton Park, is a nightmare. 3 main offenders. The police were given the addresses of 2 of these inconsiderate neighbours, last year and in the afternoon before the the festival this year. They do not light fireworks – they light bombs! They then proceed to have a contest between themselves – every year. There are animals and children present.
    Divali should be a beautiful festival of light, not terrifying bombing. If these neighbours were religious they would honour the festival of light. I have full consideration and respect for their religious rights but only contempt for them as “human beings”. They obviously feel the “same way” towards their fellow Croydon residents.

  8. Last year our neighbours (all with animals) set off fireworks at all times of the night and day. Our dogs were petrified! We can only give medication for 2 nights.The police did nothing to assist our local CPF to help stop them. What do we do?

  9. I am currently in the process of designing and building an unmanned remote control aircraft that shall identify the locations of a fireworks starting point from above using GPS. This way police will have proof of infringement and we can hopefully fine everyone who is still behaving inconsiderately towards their communities.

  10. What rights to residents have when our neighbours are lighting fireworks if they do not have pets or minors present as we are still suffering with their selfishness?

  11. am i allowed to display fireworks on diwali day
    if so,what times in the randburg area

  12. Hi

    If a co was open in Brakpan but it has now closed and reopened in Springs do you have to reapply for the fireworks licence?


  13. We are in an agricultural area- Bapsfontein – East Rand
    We have serious offences during the Guy Fawkes session.
    We are trying to get a copy of the By Law pertaining to Fireworks as well as a charge sheet for this offence>
    We unfortunately have to get this to supply to our local police station to ensure the fine and open cases, as plot owners in our area use fireworks. We have many wild animals as well as domestic animals in our area and need your assistance as soon as possible please. Thanks and Regards
    Jill Watson
    Elandsvlei Conservancy GCA 054

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