Big No for fireworks in Durban

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The use of fireworks has been banned in Durban for the festive season.

At a full council meeting in Durban yesterday all political parties unanimously adopted the eThekwini municipality's fireworks policy.

The policy prohibits the use of fireworks and fire-crackers in the city precinct. The DA's Colin Gaillard said they are fully behind the policy and believes it was long overdue.

"We believe that this policy is long overdue and that the administration and regulation of fireworks and fire-crackers is essential to promote safety and environmental protection for our citizens.

"There have been several serious injuries in recent years as a result of uncontrolled use of fireworks," he said.

He said they were also happy that in formulating the policy, with its sensitivity, consideration has been given to religious and cultural practices.

"The regulations on the sale and distribution of fireworks are particularly welcomed as the current situation leads directly to unsafe storage conditions and sale to minors. While no policy is perfect, this one is certainly a step in the right direction," he said.

Gaillard said his party would continue pushing for a clarification on which agencies will be responsible for policing breaches of the policy.

"Current provisions regarding fireworks do exist at a municipal and national level, however, trying to establish which agency is responsible for enforcement is a vexed question.

Residents have been left entirely frustrated while the ball has been constantly passed between Metro Police, SAPS and the Fire Department," he said.

IFP's caucus leader, Thembi Nzuza, said they also welcomed the policy as it will help decrease the number of injuries during the festive season. "We don't look at it in terms of race, but we look at it in terms of safety. We have been seeing some gruesome things happening because of the mishandling of firecrackers and we believe this is going to curb injuries during this time of the year," said Nzuza.