In the days leading up to the festive period, residents in Grassy Park have joined forces with local Law Enforcement authorities to crack down on the illegal sale of fireworks. In a subcouncil 18 sitting on Thursday 18 October, the Fire and Rescue Service Department confirmed that no applications were made for a certificate to sell fireworks legally, thus making any sale of fireworks in the area illegal.From next month, various celebrations are set to take place where fireworks are used, including Guy Fawkes and Diwali. “In terms of Guy Fawkes awareness, to sell fireworks, the vendor needs a licence and the stock must be stored in a lockable container or cupboard,” says Ottery Neighbourhood Watch/Crime Watch chairperson, Shanaaz Sulaiman Davids.Davids says they have been instructed to conduct a notification drive in the area where they will inform residents of the implications of contravening the Explosive Act, Act 26 of 1956, as well as the fire safety bylaw. A R1500 fine will be issued to those who contravene the Act.“People found to be setting off fireworks in urban areas are to be reported to Law Enforcement and a fine will be slapped on them. Underage children found to be bursting firecrackers, again in an urban setting, their parents will be slapped with a fine as well. Firework displays are only to be set of in previously demarcated areas,” says Davids.The police, the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement and Metro Police have also come on board in combating the sale and display of fireworks in urban areas. The City has already made inroads into the illegal sale of fireworks. According to Law Enforcement inspector Wayne Dyason, officers have been acting on information and conducting random checks. Officers confiscated 185 counterfeit CDs, 25 boxes of Widow Maker firecrackers, eight boxes of Black Spider crackers containing 60 pieces each, and a box of Coloured Flowers containing 20 pieces at an outlet at Pelican Park Shopping Centre on Wednesday 17 October. Dyason confirms a fine of R1500 was issued to the store. “It seems that the City’s appeals to the public to report information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks is paying off. Please report any transgressions to the Public Emergency Communication Centre. In terms of legislation, fireworks can only be discharged at designated sites; should only be purchased at accredited outlets, and cannot be bought or handled by anyone under the age of 16, among other conditions,” he says, adding that the City expects to effect many more confiscations in the run-up to Guy Fawkes.Grassy Park police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith, says they have their hands full with complaints, including children smearing other people and vehicles with various substances. “Our precinct becomes chaotic, chasing one complaint after the other,” she states, adding that the station will ensure visibility in the area on Monday 5 November, and she urges parents to ensure that their children do not get involved in activities which could lead to them incurring a R1500 fine, or having to pick up their child from the police station.Ward 65 councillor Patricia van der Ross echoed these sentiments, adding that residents need to be as vigilant as possible in order to maintain their personal safety.“It is no fun at all, but there are people who end up living with scars for the rest of their life. I ask even those who do the smearing, think, would you like to wake up with scars on your face the next morning or would you like to wake up in hospital the next morning, because that is how this could turn out,” she says.The City has identified 11 designated areas for the safe discharging of fireworks. “Please use the designated firework places and our closest site is in Strandfontein,” says Van der Ross. She says the City needs to start being proactive and look at places in future that will accommodate Lotus River and surrounds where the activities can be controlled.“We can look at one of our open spaces maybe that we can draw in the NHWs on the fence and the perimeters, but that requires forward planning. There are no taxis driving at night for us to go see the fireworks, so we are going to be more proactive and see how it can work. We have a few open spaces in Lotus River where we can start planning now already, because it is 12 months until the next one.” Report any transgressions to the Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.