BEFORE YOU LIGHT THE FIRE ON NATIONAL BRAAI DAY

South Africans will celebrate National braai day on 24 September. This day stems from the national public holiday – Heritage Day. “Braai-ing” is a unique national pastime. It aims to unite all South Africans. 

So, what goes into having the perfect braai day. Sabinet’s got you covered. Last year we brought you legislation into what the minimum legal requirements are for Boerewors. The next thing is having the perfect braai. Legislation proposes certain regulations on open fires. 

South Africa has two fire seasons according to our rainfall patterns: the dry summer months in the Western Cape and the dry winter months in the rest of the country. Often wildfires are started by lightning or, in mountainous regions, by falling rocks. Most, however, are started by accident by people being careless with open flames and indifferent to the consequences of their carelessness.

The Fire Danger Rating System in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (1998) has been published for general information.

The national system has been designed to apply to 42 distinct regions with different fire conditions and uses a fire danger model which includes data relating to the region’s flammable fuel structure and condition as well as daily regional weather forecasts.

The fire danger model is then used to calculate a daily fire danger index using indices of danger from blue to red.

The five categories of fire danger in the rating system and required restrictions include the following:

  • Blue – low fire danger; no precautions required.
  • Green – low fire danger; prescribed burns may be allowed. 
  • Yellow – moderate fire danger; no fires allowed in the open air except those that are authorised by the chief fire officer of the local fire service and those in designated fireplaces; authorised fires may include prescribed burns. 
  • Orange – high fire danger; no fires may be allowed under any circumstances in the open air. 
  • Red – extreme fire danger; no fires may be allowed under any circumstances in the open air and special emergency fire preparedness measures must be invoked.

The notice announcing the rating system, No. 1099, was published in Gazette 37014 on 15 November 2013 and replaces notice 1054 published in Gazette 27735 in 2005.

For more information on this legislation and other gazettes, visit https://legal.sabinet.co.za or email info@sabinet.co.za