In September 2018, Yvette Huysamer of Rescue Rehab South Africa reached out to Democratic Alliance’s Michael Bagraim at the National Assembly to put forward the motion to ban fireworks.
Bagraim has carried forward the request to South African Parliament to table the ban on fireworks nationally. Parliament was currently seated at the time in 2018 where Huysamer was requested to appear to present the request on behalf of RRSA & South African citizens.
The 54-page submission was accompanied by letters of support from Ratepayer Associations, NPO’s, PBO’s, the NSPCA, Animal Welfare Organisations and two petitions from the public numbering 55000 signatures.
Inkatha Freedom Party intervenes against motion
The move to set this ban in motion was about to be passed by Parliament but the IFP intervened. It was noted that the relevant Hindu organisations were not consulted in this matter. Huysamer was advised to revisit this proposal on the ban and present the request once again in 2019.
Meetings are being scheduled with the South African Hindu Maha Sabha – the umbrella body that represents the Hindu community and consultations are being sought with the Chinese Consulate to join the move to ban big bang fireworks.
The proposed ban includes pyrotechnic displays, flash bangs and crackers.
A consultative process was conducted by RRSA (Rescue Rehab South Africa) before the second motion next sitting of Parliament this year.
The public’s support in the form of petitions, is an addition to the submission and includes the child labour involved in the manufacturing of fireworks, the environmental damage and toxicity upon detonation, the injuries caused to adults and children and the horrific injuries and trauma caused to animals (in some cases trauma being caused deliberately), wildlife losses and avian injuries.
Is it illegal to set off fireworks currently?
Setting off fireworks, although not illegal, can be a distressing time for both humans and animals over the festive season and New Year celebrations.
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