NEW Year’s Eve literally started off with a big bang, with dogs, cats, cattle and wildlife running around towns, townships and even farmlands adjacent to these areas, stressed, scared and bewildered because of illegal fireworks being discharged all over Ndlambe.
We cannot even express our disappointment in those who discharged fireworks and for those who did not even attempt to stop the annual fireworks “war” between the Kenton-on-Sea and Bushman’s River residents and holidaymakers on New Year; this after everyone was made aware that it was not permitted and illegal. We were assured it would be stopped if there was any indication that it would go ahead.
We, however, find it very strange that the Kenton residents are so concerned and are up in arms about the poaching of wildlife in the Joan Muirhead Nature Reserve but find it perfectly fine to terrify these same animals with fireworks. We ask that anyone who can provide any information on who is behind the Kenton and Bushman’s River fireworks display, to please come forward, so that this issue can be nipped in the bud. Anyone with information may remain anonymous.
Station Hill was another big concern, as the SPCA is situated in this area and had over 50 animals on the premises, of which most were in our care for boarding. We used to offer free boarding over New Year’s Eve knowing that the animals will be safe and that Station Hill was quiet. However, we had to stop this free service because Station Hill has turned into a full-on warzone during New Year celebrations.
Like every other year the same shops and hawkers were selling fireworks (as well as counterfeit goods) on the street. Had these places been checked by the authorities, the illegal fireworks confiscated and wrong doers been charged under the Explosives Act, we would not have this same problem year after year.
It is time that the Ndlambe community stands together and not leave it up to the SPCA, who is only ONE voice in the fight against fireworks. The community needs to gather evidence of neighbours or members of the community by means of photographs or video footage, committing illegal acts and must be willing to give a statement on the illegal activities that occurred. The community cannot continue to have a “head in the sand” outlook but expect change – change comes from self and ripples out. Be the change and the solution!
Elie Wiesel once said: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time we fail to protest.”
NDLAMBE SPCA COMMITTEE