#CommitToFinish: Covid-19 concerns over ‘matric rage’ and holidays
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
In the past two weeks, we have seen a significant rise in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country. 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.
However, I am aware that many of our matrics are nonetheless going ahead with gatherings of their own at present.
Please, I ask our 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. Wearing a mask on its own is NOT sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus – physical distancing is necessary in addition.
Our matrics responded to our call to #CommitToFinish 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.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education