Metro under fire for its New Year’s Eve fireworks show

A fireworks show at midnight on New Year’s Eve at Dries Niemandt Park, organised by Ekurhuleni Metro, has residents fuming.

The metro announced its “first-ever Ekurhuleni New Year’s Extravaganza” on its Facebook page on Wednesday morning, which immediately sparked negative reaction as it also includes a fireworks show at midnight.

An online petition to put a stop to the show has since been launched. By 10am on Thursday morning more than 1 700 people have already signed the petition.

The metro published the following post:

“Get 2017 started with a bang. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is proud to be hosting the first-ever Ekurhuleni New Year’s Extravaganza, which will feature top local performers and DJs, and the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display in South Africa.

“Get down to Dries Niemandt in Kempton Park this New Year’s Eve from 2pm to experience a party like you’ve never had before. Let the likes of Khuli Chana, Kewsta, Bucie, Black Motion and Brickz entertain you, and be mesmerised by the sweet tunes of DJ Naves, DJ Kent, DJ Shimza, DJ Sbu and DJ Speedsta, among many others, as you bid farewell to 2016 and welcome 2017.

“At midnight, Ekurhuleni’s night sky will light up with an array of dazzling colours in a fireworks show, the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display in South Africa. This one-of-a-kind event in the country is set to match the standard of New Year’s Eve celebrations across the world.

“I’m truly excited to be a part of this unique New Year’s celebration. Not only are we empowering local youth talent but we’re bringing in the New Year with a certain style and flair that is only experienced in other parts of the world,” says Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality city manager, Dr Imogen Mashazi.

General admission tickets cost R150 a person and VIP tickets R500 a person, available at Computicket. No under 18s will be allowed. Gates will open at 2pm and close at 3am on December 31.

Themba Mbuzi commented: “Seems like municipality would rather have a music and drinking fest than help the residents. Why can’t you empower the youth with positive things, why not a science fest on the 31st? Career day?

“You also need a career day for adding fireworks to this nonsense gig. You don’t care about the animals that would be running scared at the sound of all these fireworks. Bloody retards!”

Ward councillor Gideon van Zyl commented: “I am shocked and deeply disappointed noting this display of wasteful expenditure by the Ekurhuleni Metro. I have not been elected as councillor to support this kind of scandalous waste of ratepayer’s money. And, that is not even starting to address the issue of a fireworks display in an area that is adjoining residential areas with large numbers of pets.

“This is a unilateral decision by the EMM to do this without getting buy-in from residents of the area where this will happen and with taxpayers’ money. Animals are terrified of fireworks and here the EMM is just going ahead with this,” Van Zyl said.

Kempton Park SPCA posted on its Facebook page: “Fireworks are traumatic for all animals, not only our pets. They are also very distressful to small children, the elderly and the infirm. It’s unnecessary to cause undue stress.”

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