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Monday Dec 31, 2012

Capetonians now allowed fireworks after midnight

Capetonians will be allowed to light up the city's skies with fireworks beyond the hour of midnight this New Year's Eve after all.

Last week city officials said residents will only be allowed to discharge fireworks between 9pm and midnight, but this was wrong.

"These officials had no authority to issue the statement and make a unilateral decision like that. I can now say that people will be allowed to discharge their fireworks but only at the designated sites," said mayco member for safety and security JP Smith yesterday.

He said officials issued the statement so that more emergency service personnel, city officials and metro police could be freed up to patrol the streets for serious offences such as drunken driving, instead of monitoring fireworks.

"It all goes downhill from midnight and the officials only wanted to ensure more officials are out making sure people get safe home after midnight," Smith said.

Even mayor Patricia de Lille was sceptical yesterday that officials will be able to stop Capetonians from firing off fireworks after midnight. "That will be a very difficult thing to enforce on midnight," she said.

Despite this Smith asked people to try to discharge their fireworks as early as possible.

"The earlier it is done the earlier these officers can go back to patrol the streets," he said.

Smith warned that all fireworks will be confiscated from people who discharge theirs outside the designated areas.

The city identified eight sites where people can light their fireworks.

They are the sport fields in Bishop Lavis, Wesfleur in Atlantis and Swartklip in Mitchells Plain and parking areas at Macassar Beach in Macassar, Maidens Cove in Camps Bay and Athlone Stadium.

In Table View residents will be allowed to discharge fireworks at the beach front opposite the tourism centre and in Strandfontein next to the pavilion.

Cape Times

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