President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished South Africa’s Hindu community a happy Diwali and New Year.
Diwali or Deepavali is the religious occasion that celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge and wisdom over ignorance, triumph of light over darkness and it also symbolises freedom and spiritual enlightenment.
On this holy day, devotees around the country and across the world will light lamps that symbolise the victory of light over darkness.
“The celebration of Diwali is an expression of profound spiritual enlightenment and insight but the symbolism of Diwali extends also to our country’s emergence from a period of economic difficulty and serious challenges in leadership and governance.
“As South Africans, we should unite and apply our skills and sound values to building and sustaining a better future for all of us,” said President Ramaphosa in his message.
South Africa’s diversity is enriched through the sharing and integration of culture and religion, he said, adding that Hinduism teaches about the values of humility, community, tolerance and self-improvement as a path to serving society.
“These are values that appeal to all South Africans and that should find expression in everything we do as individuals or collectively.”
Meanwhile, the City of Johannesburg says its emergency services are in place for the Diwali celebrations which also coincide with Guy Fawks Day.
According to by-laws, fireworks can only be set off between 19:00 and 22:00 and council authorisation will be required outside these hours.
Non-adherence to this by-law can result in a fine of R500 and if the fireworks are ignited near animals, hospitals or old age homes, the fines can be up to R1000.
The City adds that parents can also be fined up to R1500 for allowing their children to set off fireworks unsupervised.
In case of emergency, the JMPD and EMS can be contacted on 011 375 5911. - SAnews.gov.za