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IFP calls for a ban on matric ‘pens down’ parties in KZN amid fourth wave

The IFP said matric 'pens down' celebrations could turn into super-spreader events.
The IFP said matric 'pens down' celebrations could turn into super-spreader events.
Image: 123rf

The IFP has called for a ban on matric “pens down” celebrations during the fourth wave of  Covid-19 infections in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The “pens down” celebrations usually take place after the National Senior Certificate examinations when many pupils across the country celebrate with their classmates. 

The IFP said these events could easily become superspreaders.

“With the discovery of the Omicron variant in SA, the IFP believes it would be difficult for youngsters to ensure they wear masks, sanitise their hands regularly and maintain social distancing,” said the party. 

According to the IFP, allowing such parties to take place is a “recipe for disaster” and they are also destructive in nature. 

“Unprotected sex and the use of illegal substances are often a fixture of the parties. In the past, matric final exam celebrations have claimed the lives of many young people through car accidents and violence against one another.

“The IFP calls on the KZN department of education to ensure such events are banned in the province.”

The IFP said the education department should send a clear message that anyone found to be staging such an event will be held accountable.

“We urge schools and parents to be alert, as some parties are planned secretly by pupils. In the interests of protecting their children from this new Covid-19 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,” it said.

Last week, organisers of the Rage festivals in Plett and Ballito cancelled the events due to the increase in Covid-19 infections.

Organisers said they were processing refunds for partygoers who had tested positive for Covid-19 before attending the event.

One of the founders and major shareholders of the festivals accused media houses of creating panic and hysteria about the events.

Greg Walsh took to social media to express his anger and disappointment about media pressure.

“The events of this last week have really upset me. They have brought deep despair and destruction to our organisations and teams. What is going on cannot continue. It is nonsense,” he said.

“In the build-up to Rage we presented to health departments, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and even the World Health Organisation.

“At the end, with their support and after four months of multiple presentations, we made the following protocols: you had to be vaccinated to attend and you had to bring a negative test on arrival.”

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