SPCA wins court order against Ekurhuleni New Year's fireworks show

A planned fireworks display as part of New Year’s festivities on Gauteng’s East Rand has been ordered not to go ahead because of fears it could terrorise animals.

The SPCA in Kempton Park went to court to compel the Ekurhuleni Municipality from having the fireworks as part of their Ekurhuleni New Year’s Extravaganza‚ with the court ruling in their favour.

In a statement issued on their Facebook page‚ the National Council of SPCAs said the banning of the display would “prevent the unnecessary and devastating suffering to animals within the area”.

“The NSPCA commends the Kempton Park SPCA for its swift action and for working diligently for the benefit of animals. Fireworks can have a devastating effect on all animals. We urge the public to consider the consequences of setting off fireworks and to keep in mind that this form of entertainment is to the detriment of all animals‚ domesticated and wild‚” the organisation said.

Responding‚ the municipality said it noted residents’ concerns‚ particularly those in an online petition – which‚ by Thursday 5pm had more than 2100 signatories. However‚ spokesman Themba Gadebe said there was no intention to have a fireworks display‚ saying the event was incorrectly advertised.

“The City’s Joint Organising Committee (JOC) on 21 December 2016 rejected a request for a fireworks display at Dries Niemandt Park on New Year’s eve. The rejection [of] a fireworks license was based on the proximity to the residential area and flights passing to and from OR Tambo International Airport.

“By the time the JOC decision came through‚ Ekurhuleni had pre-programmed social media messages for the holiday period which included an announcement that there would be a fireworks display. The city withdraws this part of the statement and apologises for the confusion‚” he said.

Instead‚ Gadebe said‚ the committee had actually authorised a “pyrotechnics display”.

“The pyro that will be used is similar to that which is used at Ultra Music Festival around major cities in South Africa. The Decibel (DB) rating of pyrotechnics is below 90 DB which isn’t louder than the normal PA systems at events.

“The product height range is between 9m and 45m. Fireworks on the other hand start from 120 DB and can reach heights up to between 180m and 200m‚” he said. — TMG Digital/The Times


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