Kouga Municipality would like to appeal to mothers, fathers and caregivers to help make Guy Fawkes safe and crime-free for everyone this weekend.
Guy Fawkes is marked annually on 5 November and has become associated with traditions that hurt communities.
“The burning of tyres is one of the most alarming local traditions associated with this day,” Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said. “We would like to plea with parents not to allow their children to do this.”
She said that tyres were made of toxic compounds which, when burnt, released poisonous gases into the air.
“This poison is then inhaled by those nearby. Babies, children, the elderly, asthmatics and immune-suppressed individuals are very vulnerable to these pollutants. This includes people with TB or HIV/Aids,” she explained.
“Burning tyres are also a serious fire risk and cause significant damage to our roads and sidewalks.”
She further reminded residents that it was against the law to discharge fireworks anywhere in the Kouga region.
“The current by-law completely bans the discharge of fireworks. Not even the municipality is allowed to designate an area for this purpose,” she said.
“The challenge is that policing the by-law is near impossible, especially as the municipal law enforcement unit was not fully developed under the previous Council.
“Our plea to residents this Guy Fawkes is to practice responsible citizenry and help safeguard their communities. Please help us spread awareness that fireworks are not permitted.
They pose a fire risk, can cause serious injury to people and traumatize animals.”
She said the new Council would be reviewing the municipal by-laws so as to allow residents the opportunity to decide, for example, whether they wanted designated areas for the shooting of fireworks.
“It is up to all of us, as Kouga’s people, to decide what is best for our area. We look forward to engaging with communities so that, together, we can decide on the way forward.”