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Cape Town prepares for Diwali celebrations


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The 2010 FIFA World Cup is not the only thing on Cape Town's agenda these days. It being the multi-cultural city that it is, it caters for all groups of people from all walks of life. At the moment the city is preparing itself for the annual Hindu Diwali celebration happening over the weekend. 

Source: City of Cape Town

As Hindus prepare for the annual Diwali celebrations on Saturday 17 October, the City of Cape Town has appealed to residents to be safety-conscious and mindful of the law in handling fireworks during the festivities.

Pets should also be kept indoors after dark, preferably behind closed windows and drawn curtains, in order to lessen any distress that they may suffer from the sound of the fireworks.

Diwali, or Deepavali, means ‘a row of lights’ in Sanskrit, and is a significant religious ritual for Hindus. They celebrate it by discharging fireworks to symbolise the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. The five day festival follows a month-long fast and abstinence from meat and alcohol.

Local Hindus have celebrated Diwali in keeping with their ancient traditions since first arriving in South Africa in the 1860s.

The Cape Town Diwali Festival was held on Saturday 10 October 2009. It was a celebration of Hindu culture and included dance and music  performances and a 20-minute fireworks display by a registered pyro-technician.

Executive Mayor Dan Plato also wished Hindus well, saying that Diwali, like Christmas for Christians, is an opportunity for reflection and renewal of faith.

"My hope for the year ahead is that in this spirit of looking to the light, we shall be able to find reconciliation where there has been division and hurt; to work for peace and the rejection of violence; and that together we may appreciate and enjoy each other's festivals as a common sign of our commitment to mutual goodwill and faith in each other," Plato said.


Residents planning to discharge shop goods fireworks on Saturday 17 October should note that they are only allowed to do so at the following sites, and nowhere else without special permission:

Cape Town

  • Mnandi Beach parking area (near Law Enforcement office)
  • Maiden’s Cove parking area
  • Strandfontein Beach parking area
  • Athlone Stadium parking area


  • Gordon’s Bay Main Beach
  • Strand Beach (at Deep Blue)
  • Macassar Beach 

South Peninsula

  • Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg
  • Fish Hoek Beach
  • Hout Bay Beach


  • De Grendel Sports Ground, Parow
  • Nooitgedacht Sports Ground, Bishop Lavis
  • Sports Ground in Roosendal Street, Delft


  • Blue Downs Sports Stadium, Hindle Road, Delft


  • Mamre Park, opposite SAPS
  • Wesfleur Sportsfield, Atlantis
  • Palms site, Milnerton
  • Blaauwberg Beach, area opposite KFC (Blaauwberg Road)
  • Ratanga Junction BC parking area, Century City

People discharging shop goods fireworks at these sites do so at their own risk. The City will not be held liable for any claims for injury or damage which may arise from using fireworks. Children under the age of 16 may not buy fireworks, and are not allowed to use them without adult supervision.

Incidents of illegal discharge of fireworks can be reported to the Metro Police Control Centre on 0860 765 423, or the SAPS Emergency Control Centre on 10111.

In the case of an emergency situation please contact the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 107 or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.

General enquiries can be directed to the City’s Corporate Call Centre 0860 103 089 or the Disaster Risk Management Centre, 080 911 4357.

For enquiries regarding fireworks in the City of Cape Town, call 021 918 2719 during office hours or e-mail

Martin Pollack 


Date Posted: 2009-10-16
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