Western Cape education MEC pleads with pupils to ‘consider the risks’ of attending Rage festivals

17 November 2021 - 14:00
Only vaccinated matriculants will be allowed to attend the Ballito Rage Festival this year. File photo.
Only vaccinated matriculants will be allowed to attend the Ballito Rage Festival this year. File photo.
Image: Shelley Christians

As this year’s final exams near the halfway mark, Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer has pleaded with matric pupils to carefully consider the risks of attending matric Rage and other social events. 

The popular year-end student Rage Festival will be held from November 30 to December 6 in Ballito, Durban. Plettenberg Rage dates are December 3 to 7.

Schäfer  urged pupils and their parents to consider whether these and other social events are worth the risk. 

“Yes, we may have lower numbers of active cases in our province and country at present, but we know from the experience of other countries that it is only a matter of time before another wave Covid-19 arrives. We must do everything we can to avoid contributing to an increase in the number of cases,” she said 

Schäfer said matric pupils were entering adulthood and must accept the responsibility to keep themselves, their families and their friends safe.

“Staying focused on your exams is an investment in your own future. There will be plenty of time for celebrating once you have completed your exams,” she said.

Last year’s Rage Festival in Ballito was identified as a superspreader event after nearly 1,000 cases of Covid-19 were linked to it. 

CEO of the Rage Festival group Greg Walsh said the organisers had all the necessary approvals from the municipality, local police, fire and traffic departments and the department of health for this year’s event.

The organisers are working with a task team including five people from the provincial health department, two local representatives from the World Health Organisation and a team from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

“It’s definitely a collaborative effort and in terms of the safety measures it’s a fully vaccinated event. All staff and guests have to be fully vaccinated and we have a full on-site testing solution,” he said.

In August, Ronen Klugman, founder and owner of the student festival, said every person will have to be vaccinated to attend. 

“We are going to require everyone to have been vaccinated before they come. We feel it’s our responsibility to make sure people are safe,” said Klugman

He said in addition to needing proof of vaccination, attendees will also be required to present a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before the weekend.

“Upon arrival, organisers will test each Rager with a rapid antigen test before they receive a wristband. Due to Plett Rage being a multi-day event, we will also enforce another rapid antigen test before Ragers return home,” he said.

“We will adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions implemented by the Western Cape government, subject to the approval of an event to take place and within the restrictions on gatherings legislation.”


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