Keeping trouble off streets

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The popular, colourful carnival scheduled for New Year's Eve in Johannesburg will be bigger and better this year.

The inaugural Joburg Carnival of 2004 was a response to the community's need to have a celebratory event on New Year's Eve.

The absence of any planned activity for inner-city residents had created an unfortunate tradition of vandalism. So as a diversion, the carnival offered an attractive alternative to antisocial behaviour and more importantly, had residents from various communities working together to create floats, choreograph dances, and participate in the carnival parade.

The carnival is always an explosion of light, colour, movement and sound as the colourful event winds through the streets of downtown Johannesburg.

The parade kicks off at 2pm on New Year's Eve from Kotze Street in Hillbrow and is joined by participants from sub-assembly points in Parktown, Yeoville and Berea.

The procession works its way to Newtown and reaches there just in time for sunset.

As with previous years, safety is an imperative of the carnival.

Emergency Medical Solutions, Pikitup and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department will all work together to try and make sure that the carnival runs as smoothly as possible.

Police said that the carnival has been very effective in reducing fatalities on New Year's Eve.

Five years ago, police said they reported at least seven fatalities on that night. But last year, they said, not a single fatality was reported to them.