Mass gatherings put EVERYONE at risk. This means everyone from the privileged to the underprivileged…

So who decided to give the go-ahead for the matric rage parties to take place around the country just because organisers ‘implemented relevant protocols’. From the outside looking in, this smacks of selfishness and greed.

Yes, the annual parties bring a ‘boost to the local economy’, but at what cost?

In a media statement from the organisers of the Plett Rage (which has now been cancelled), it was stated that “Previous local tourism product surveys indicate that an average of between R12K – R15K is spent per student.”

That’s R1,500-R1,875 per day over the eight-day party period. A nice gig if you can get it.

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“The students spend money on accommodation, food, drink, and area activities. This is the start of the Plett summer season, which encourages additional employment in both the retail and tourism industry,” said the release.

But let’s be honest, it’s not the students bringing the cash, for the majority, it’s the parents who are handing over their credit cards.

Ballito Ragers tracked down in Jhb and Pretoria – almost 1000 test positive for Covid-19

Who bears the brunt of the fallout?

Had this event gone ahead – like the Ballito bash – it would not just have been the students at risk. It is everyone they would have come into contact with. From waiters to e-hailing service drivers to cashiers and accommodation suppliers, as well as the students’ own family members.

While wealthy families may be able to fork out R15k for their teens “have a bit of fun”, most can also enjoy the privileges of private medical aid. Their teens will not be the ones having to fight for every breath in overcrowded, under-resourced and overwhelmed government hospitals.

But be assured: Even money can’t buy you immunity from Covid-19. The Ballito bash was a cold reality check for those who considered themselves exempt from infection.

A number of private hospitals in Ballito reported that their ICU wards were full following the super-spreader party.

The thoughtlessness of organisers, officials who ‘okayed’ the event, the parents who allowed their teens to attend, and the teens themselves, has now kicked our country into its “second wave” of coronavirus infections.

We cannot survive a second major lockdown

If you thought our economy couldn’t survive a Rage-less Christmas season, how do you think it will fare against a second major lockdown?

For the parents who were prepared to hand over R15k to their precious angel for a party – did you spare a thought as to how even a fraction of that money could have helped a struggling family?

Parents, organisers, inspectors, teens… If you feel like the parties were justified because of the ‘benefit’ they bring to the economy, I see your point. It’s a good one. But what we’ve learned from Ballito is that this view has its consequences.

It’s people like you who can make or break this country’s future

It’s people like you who are going to help kickstart this decimated economy again.

But are parties for the privileged few really the place to start?

You work hard for your money. There’s no harm in having it. And by all means, do with it what you want, but consider the fact that even your financial security relies on a functional economy.

Whether it’s for self-preservation or genuine altruism, will you check your choices this festive season?


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