The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the Education Department to take a stand and ban all matric ‘pens down’ celebrations.
With the discovery of the new Omicron variant in South Africa, the IFP said these events could easily become super-spreader events.
Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, the party’s provincial spokesperson for Education, said they believe that it would be difficult for youngsters to ensure that they wear masks, sanitise their hands regularly and maintain social distancing.
“Allowing such parties to take place is nothing more than a recipe for disaster, as they are also destructive in nature. Unprotected sex and the use of illegal substances are often a fixture of the parties and, in the past, matric final exam celebrations have claimed the lives of many young people, through car accidents and violence meted out against one another,” said Madlopha-Mthethwa.
She said the IFP calls upon the KZN Department of Education to ensure that such events are banned in KZN.
“A clear message must be sent out that anyone found to be staging such an event will be held accountable.
“The IFP urges schools and parents to be alert, as some of these parties are planned secretly by learners. In the interest of protecting their children from this new Covid variant, and for their general safety and wellbeing, parents must denounce such parties. It would be tragic for young people with their whole future before them to lose their lives,” she said.