Matric parties’ seaside chaos

2009-12-05 00:00

POLICE have arrested more than 50 teenagers in their clampdown on the throngs of boozing, out-of-control matriculants who have hit the seaside towns of Ballito, Umhlanga and Margate to party.

Umhlali SAPS charged these teenagers for drinking in public, assault, public indecency and public disturbances.

Every year, matriculants, many of whom attend some of the country’s top schools, descend on these towns to celebrate the end of their school careers. The parties start in early December and last until Christmas, when these teenagers return home.

The highlight of these “wild parties” is the annual Rage party held in Umhlanga and Ballito clubs.

Local police, with limited resour­ces, are kept on their toes trying to control them.

Matrics and tertiary students cause chaos with their binge drinking, drugs and wild parties at rented holiday apartments and chalets. Some teenagers have been spotted having sex on the beach.

Umhlali SAPS spokesman Captain Yogen Maharaj said extra police have been deployed to monitor the teenagers and has warned that they will face arrest if they misbehave.

Maharaj said most of the revellers come from rich families and splurge on alcohol during their holiday.

“They drive flashy cars, draw out large sums of money and basically think they own the town. We will not tolerate this,” he said.

Residents are also fed up with the loud music, public drinking and the lewd acts that occur outside their properties.

Body corporate members of several flats have held meetings with Maharaj and his team to find a solution to the problem.

In one incident, a gang of boys broke into a property and broke every pot plant they could find. When the owner complained, they retalia­ted by shining a torch into his bedroom window while he slept.

“These kids are uncontrollable. They have sex on the beach, scream and shout when people are sleeping, and even damage property,” Maharaj said.

He said the annual deluge of teenagers on Ballito puts a major strain on their resources, which should be used for fighting crime.

“This peaceful town becomes chaotic when they arrive. They have no respect for the residents, who have no choice but to put up with them.”

Promiscuous behaviour is also rife, with teenagers engaging in sex and lewd acts on the beach.

The situation is so bad that a Gauteng religious group, The Red Frog, have stepped in to counsel young girls who find themselves pregnant after their stay in Ballito.

While Ballito clamps down on unruly teenagers, Margate has put together a programme of events to keep teenagers entertained and out of trouble.

Vicky Erasmus, of Wozani Events, said the Student Week programme includes fun activities like music concerts, sports events, talent competitions and fashion shows.

“Margate has been the student holiday destination for the past 30 years.

“We want to give students and matriculants activities so they don’t get bored,” she said.

Erasmus said that while many private establishments have opted not to rent accommodation to teenagers, there are places they can stay.

Margate Hotel lets rooms to students and matriculants.

The management said these guests are well behaved because of their strict security policies.


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