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Hindu body to take CoCT to court over move to scrap fireworks sites

The city communicated the decision last week indicating a reluctance by sub-councils to approve sites, the high cost of running them and public sentiment against the use of fireworks.

Picture: freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - The rights of Hindu residents to use fireworks during Diwali has re-emerged following the City of Cape Town's decision to do away with designated discharge sites.

The city communicated the decision last week, indicating a reluctance by sub-councils to approve sites, the high cost of running them and public sentiment against the use of fireworks.

Some Hindu residents have taken umbrage with efforts to restrict fireworks during Diwali celebrations next week.
The city said discharging fireworks was against the law, unless it was approved or at a designated site.

Now it's decided it will no longer host those sites as it's not obliged to.

President of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha (SAHMS) Ashwin Trikamjee said the issue of fireworks was important to the Hindu community.

“We’re actually taking the matter to court to challenge that decision. We also think that the municipality’s decision may well be wrong because it’s the National Explosive Act that governs the explosive fireworks.”

But Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith said the Hindu community was not affected by the decision.

“Any persons or organisation that requires to have a firework for their festival or event is entirely permittable but they must apply for it.”

Over the years, fireworks have been part of many celebrations for some Capetonians whether it's celebrating Diwali, Guy Fawkes or ushering in the New Year.

However, the practice is not without its critics, particularly from those concerns of fire hazards and the wellbeing of pets and animals.