South Africa, Cape Town – The MEC for Education in the Western Cape, Debbie Schäfer, has welcomed the news the Plett Rage festival has been canceled. She said she has been particularly concerned about matric “rage” parties, given the significant rise in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country over the past two weeks.
“Many Western Cape residents are understandably raising concerns as to what will happen during the school holidays when learners and their families travel and gather in larger groups.
“Of particular concern are the traditional matric rage parties that are held at or near the end of the matric year.
“I welcome the cancellation of the commercially organised Plett Rage festival, given the number of cases on the Garden Route and the fact that it is clear that people are unable or unwilling to act responsibly since we have seen that other matric rage events now constitute super-spreader events,” Schäfer said.
She said while she was aware matrics were nonetheless going to go ahead with gatherings of their own, she requested matrics and their parents to carefully consider the risks of continuing with these events.
“This includes the risks to themselves, their family members and the general public. The clear advice of health experts is to avoid large gatherings where it is difficult to properly observe Covid-19 protocols.
“It is understandable that our matrics and other learners want to let their hair down after a very stressful year, but we are now entering a critical time in the pandemic. We cannot afford another lockdown and we must keep ourselves and others safe.
“This takes a great degree of personal responsibility from each and every one of us. Our matrics are now entering the adult world – it is time to show the responsibility that we expect of adults.
“We thus also call on the support of parents to convince their children not to attend these events, and to reinforce the golden rules of hygiene for preventing the spread of the virus in their homes.”
Schäfer stressed wearing a mask on its own was not sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus, and physical distancing was still necessary.
“Our matrics responded to our call to commit to finishing their matric year, so we need all learners and their parents to now commit to staying safe over the holiday season. You will thank yourself later.”