The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr. Geoffrey Makhubo, has urged residents to be cautious when igniting fireworks on Wednesday. Lighting fireworks is part of the traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations. However, the curfew from 21:00 to 06:00 remains in place as alert level 3 is extended.
This comes after the announcement of the new lockdown restrictions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, which amongst other things discourages social gatherings.
“The culture of igniting fireworks is traditionally done in forms of a larger group, which is ‘highly discouraged by the Alert level 3 regulations as such gatherings can serve as COVID-19 super spreader events. Therefore, we implore our residents to be extra careful when igniting fireworks, while avoiding gathering in groups,”
“As a government of local unity, our responsibility is to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, therefore a sizeable number of the City’s Public Safety Department officials. which includes JMPD and EMS will continue to conduct by laws enforcement operations on both the 30th and 31st December 2020.”
According to Makhubo these Zero-Tolerance operations will be targeting the wholesalers, dealers and distributors. This aim to ensure that they are complying with the fire service brigade act and also the city by laws regarding safe use, storage of fireworks.
He also called on all residents to heed the President’s call of lighting up a candle instead of a firework at midnight on New Year’s Eve. This will be done in memory of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. He stated that this will also be in tribute to those who are on the frontline working to save lives and protecting citizens against the rapid spread of the virus.