Fireworks can only be set-off by a licensed pyrotechnician, and no applications have been received by the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
ANIMAL owners are bracing for the traumatic experience their pets will have to endure with the expected fireworks set to ring in the New Year.
In the build-up to the New Year’s Eve celebrations, retailers in the city have seen a spike in the sale of fireworks.
While opinions regarding the legality of these explosives differ substantially, calls have been made for current regulations to be properly enforced.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one shop owner in the Kimberley CBD said that his outlet supported and complied, to the letter, with the existing restrictions and regulations regarding the sale of fireworks.
He added that there had been a concerted effort made by the authorities to combat the illegal sales.
“There is definitely far more interest in fireworks over the New Year period, but this year has been very much the same as in the past,” he said yesterday afternoon. “I’m quite surprised by this because there has definitely been an effort made to stamp out the problem this year.
“Inspectors have been coming in, requesting to see our permit and checking that we are abiding by the conditions and regulations.
“With less people selling fireworks illegally, one would have thought that those that do so legitimately would have more customers.”
The shop owner added that the rules and regulations, currently in place, are fair and reasonable but needed to strictly enforced in order to be effective.
“Fireworks are like any other explosive and need to be handled in a safe, controlled and responsible manner,” he said.
“Much like a gun, it isn’t the firework that kills but the way it is used. They should not be sold to children, nor set-off within an urban environment and should never be in the hands of anyone that is under the influence of alcohol.
“Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and that is where the problems start.
“We cannot be blamed for the irresponsible actions of a reckless and negligent customer.”
Sol Plaatje Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, reiterated local government appeals to only purchase and set-off fireworks within the legitimate perimeters and appropriate authorisation.
According to his knowledge, no permits for New Years’ Eve fireworks display have been granted by the municipality this festive season.
“In terms of the current policy and regulation, only licensed pyrotechnicians, with the relevant permissions, may set-off fireworks and we have not received any applications that I am aware of,” Matsie said yesterday.
“Anyone who does so without a permit is doing so illegally.”
The municipal spokesperson explained that illegal and unregulated sales posed a significant threat to public safety as these items were often of inferior quality making them particularly volatile and unpredictable.
“Those who do decide to buy fireworks need to do so from a reputable supplier and we are appealing to the public not to support any illegal trade.”
“Every year, we hear of people losing hands, eyes and even their lives. In many cases, these tragedies are caused by illegal and unreliable explosives.”
Matsie added that pets tended to suffer the most from this form of celebration as he urged residents to lock their animals in a safe, secure and quiet place as the countdown to 2018 approaches.