Table View protest sparked

It is believed that a Chinese lantern lit on Guy Fawkes sparked the fire at Rietvlei Nature Reserve last year.

The City of Cape Town has lit the fuse of Table View residents who want fireworks banned by giving Guy Fawkes revellers the green light to let them off in the suburb.

The tourism centre in Athens Road on the Table View beachfront is one of 12 designated areas where the sparks will fly on Guy Fawkes, Saturday November 5.

The City says it is considering Killarney Racetrack as an alternative site for New Year’s Eve.

Table View is one of 12 sites across the City that will allow fireworks on Guy Fawkes as well as Diwali and New Year.

There are four more sites than last year, a move the City says it believes will minimises the temptation to discharge fireworks from unsupervised areas.

“A number of additional sites were proposed by ward councillors, but these did not meet the safety criteria, and so we had to reject them,” said JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security.

The City removed Theo Marais Park, in Milnerton, from the list of sites following objections from the public, and Sunrise Beach is also off the list due to traffic congestion.

Fireworks have been an explosive issue in Table View for several years. Some residents have called for them to be banned, citing harm to animals, the morning-after mess left by revellers and the threat of fire and injury. (“TVRA lights discussion on fireworks,” September 28).

This Guy Fawkes, residents plan to unite in protest against the City’s decision to allow fireworks in the area, by forming a human chain on the Table View beachfront.

Gayl Basson from the animal shelter Fallen Angels is leading the campaign. “We will meet on the beachfront across Marine Circle, and from there we will move to the designated area where we will form a peaceful human chain.

“We are expecting around 200 people. It’s important for us to speak up for those who don’t have a voice,” said Ms Basson.

Other fireworks sites include Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis; Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive; Metropolitan sports grounds, Melkhout Street, Bonteheuwel; Delft Central sports grounds, Main Road, Delft; Swartklip sports complex, Swartklip Road, Mitchell’s Plain; Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side), Klipfontein Road; Maiden’s Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay; Strandfontein Pavilion; Sarepta sports complex; Blue Downs sports field; and Macassar Beach parking area.

All fireworks areas will be patrolled by City law enforcement and Metro police as well as a fire inspector.

Anyone under the age of 16 is not permitted to discharge fireworks and 11pm is the cut-off time on both Guy Fawkes and Diwali, with New Year’s Eve being the exception.

“I hope that residents can appreciate the massive logistical exercise we deal with every year, as well as the costs associated with deploying staff to all of these areas,” said Mr Smith.

“We could look at designating more sites, but we simply do not have the budget or the resources.

“I appeal to members of the public to use fireworks responsibly to prevent injuries, and to take into account the effect fireworks have on those residents who do not partake in these activities.

“We have confiscated fireworks in previous years and issued fines for the illegal discharge of fireworks, and we will do so again this year if need be.”

You can report the illegal sale or use of fireworks to the metro police call centre at 0860 765 423 or to SAPS at 10111.

General emergencies can be directed through the City’s public emergency call centre at 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.