“The New Year celebrations tend to be a challenge, particularly compliance with the use of fireworks,” said police spokesman Briagadier Sabata Mokgwabone.
“The public is reminded that fireworks in the country are controlled in terms of the Explosives Act, 1956 [ACT NO. 26 of 1956]. Furthermore, various municipalities have by-laws that restrict and give guide about the use or discharge of fireworks.”
Mokgwabone advised people to only buy fireworks from legal outlets, to only use fireworks outside, not to hold them in one’s hand when lighting it, and most importantly not to attempt to make one’s own fireworks.
The police further cautioned the community that it was unlawful for any person to use or discharge fireworks within 500 metres of any explosives firearm magazine, explosives factory, petroleum depots or gasometers, in any building or any public thoroughfare, and in any other public place or resort, except with the prior written permission of the local authority.
“The SAPS would like to reiterate that only wholesale and retail dealers that are licensed in terms of the Explosives Act, and who are in possession of a valid licence issued by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, may deal in the sale of fireworks. No fireworks may be sold by a street hawker or vendor at a flea market, from the boot of a vehicle or trailer in contravention of the Explosives Act,” said Mokgwabone.
“Any person who by any act or omission commits a breach of any of the regulations of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding R600 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”
The police warned that children should not be allowed to pick up pieces of fireworks immediately, as some may still ignite and could explode at any time.
North West provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane, urged all members of the community to comply with the law to avoid unnecessary injuries due to carelessness and non-compliance.
– African News Agency (ANA)