Rage festivals to continue despite president calling for postponement of large gatherings

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the nation to avoid large gatherings following the discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
  • The Ballito Rage festival and Plett Rage festival will, however, go ahead, say the organisers.
  • South Africa reported 2 273 new Covid-19 infections and 25 new deaths on Monday.

Matric Rage festivals planned for this week will forge ahead, say the organisers, despite a stern warning from President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening that large gatherings should be avoided.

Thousands of matriculants are expected to arrive on the North Coast for the Ballito Rage, which kicks off on Tuesday. It will come to an end until 5 December.

Organisers of the Ballito Rage festival were locked in talks with local health authorities on Monday and received approval from all stakeholders, said Darren Sandras, a spokesperson for the event organisers.

"Ballito Rage has all available Covid-19 safety precautions in place, well beyond those mandated by government and advised by our highly skilled Covid-19 team," he said.

He said strictly no one will be allowed entry without vaccination.

Sandras added:

All attendees and staff must be vaccinated and show digital proof of vaccination. These will be verified before entry in partnership with the Department of Health.

He said they have further mandated that a negative Covid-19 test must be presented by every guest on arrival at the festival.

"All testing data will be sent daily to the Department of Health, who have a task team on site in support," he said.

READ MORE | Ballito Rage to go ahead with vaccine certificates and rapid tests, despite new Covid-19 variant

Last year's festival turned into a super-spreader event and saw a number of Covid-19 infections among staff and attendees. More than 840 people at the event tested positive for Covid-19, News24 previously reported.

The Plett Rage festival is also expected to continue as planned. The event will take place from Friday till 7 December. The artists expected to headline this year include Francois van Coke, GoodLuck, Headroom and Matthew Mole.

Plett Rage founder Ronen Klugman told News24 they sold 900 tickets for the event.

"Where we are at the moment is we are doomed if we do, and we are doomed if we don't. We are hosting an event for 1 000 people, and this is not a mass gathering. We are the first events to make vaccinations mandatory when attending our event. We have complied with all the regulations. We have all the necessary documentation," Klugman said.

He said everyone attending the event will have to be tested, and strict controls will be in place.

On Sunday evening, when addressing the nation Ramaphosa said end-of-year parties and matric year-end raves as well as other celebrations should ideally be postponed.

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