A stern warning to parents and pupils not to participate in end-of-year matric parties has been issued by the KwaZulu-Natal government.
Premier Sihle Zikalala said in a statement that partaking in these events and celebrations could flout Covid-19 safety protocols and endanger lives.
In light of surging Covid-19 case numbers and the newly discovered Omicron variant, extra precautions are being taken across the province and the country.
“Reports are indicating that with the end of year and the end of school for learners, especially matric, have started to converge in KwaZulu-Natal for events such as Rage and others known as Throw the Pen Away, after parties.
“Most of these gatherings young people gather in large groups, others indulge in alcohol binges and other malevolent activities,” Zikalala said.
The provincial government says matric parties are super-spreader events that will endanger lives, at a time where lives must be prioritised, and not risked.
“We expect parents to play a leading role in guiding their children by ensuring that the children are safe to enter the next stage of their lives after matric.
“We wish to remind the youth of the mission of their current generation which is to defeat Covid-19.”
‘No jab, no entry’
At least 1,300 tickets had been sold when the celebration was abruptly cancelled.
According to a statement received, a testing facility located near the event site found 32 guests and four staff members produced positive results for Covid-19.
Before the cancellation, Stellenbosch University epidemiologist Dr Jo Barnes warned, however, that being vaccinated does not make one immune to being infectious.
Barnes said the festival proceeding was “a bad idea”.
This article has been updated to include the cancellation of Ballito Rage.
Compiled by Nica Richards. Additional reporting by Rorisang Kgosana