City-wide ban of fireworks in Johannesburg

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Fireworks have been proved to be hazardous items that can cause extensive harm to people, animals and the environment.

The problem: The noise pollution caused by fireworks can cause trauma, and harm those suffering from medical conditions such as photosensitive epilepsy. This can also be traumatic for people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety-related disorders. It is also widely-known that during festivals and other celebrations in which fireworks are discharged, animal shelters and local communities experience an increase in the number of animals escaping homes, experiencing stress, and often suffering death as a result of injury and trauma. Fireworks are also harmful to our environment, as particles are released which can pollute our air and water, and inadvertently cause fires which can harm our wildlife. 

Our solution: For the above reasons, we petition the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (and elected officials, including the Speaker, the Mayor, and Councillors) to amend by-laws to recognise the harm caused by fireworks, by doing the following:

  1. Implementing a city-wide ban of the allocation of any demarcated areas for fireworks displays;
  2. Ending the use of fireworks by the City, including at events such as the recent New Year’s concert at Mary Fitzgerald Square;
  3. Supporting a national ban of fireworks in the Republic of South Africa (including the sale/purchase of fireworks, designated municipal display areas, and the discharge of fireworks within national borders).

In South Africa — a country with a beautiful natural landscape — we shouldn’t actively behave in a way that can harm our animals and the already-strained environment. Further, we shouldn’t act in a way that can harm people, especially those suffering from disorders and conditions which can be worsened by the disruptive noise caused by firework displays.