Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu
Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu

KZN Health MEC welcomes cancellation of Ballito Rage festival

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has welcomed the cancellation of this year's Ballito Rage festival.

She said no potential super-spreader event that could lead to the overwhelming of the province’s healthcare system should be allowed to go ahead.

"From October, we have been working with the organisers to find the best way to manage this event. But because we could not close it down ourselves at the time, we agreed that we’d manage the numbers according to the regulations. We agreed that within that process, there would be certain protocols that are in place, such as that the participants would have to produce a vaccination certificate proving they’re negative," Simelane explained.

She said there was an agreement that participants would be screened and tested on-site.

"On Tuesday morning, 10 tested positive out of  about 50. We then went back to the organisers and decided to relook at the plan. When we tested more participants during the day, the number exceeded 35. That’s when we realised that we needed to engage with the organisers about the need to close down this event," the MEC said.

She said they are thankful for the organisers' cooperation.

Simelane added that the virus was easily transmissible, which means that any close proximity between those who are infected with other people could create a potential super-spreader event.

She urged all other big event organisers to consider postponing their planned events.

"For those who are continuing, we'll be close by to monitor that they adhere to the safety precautions. If we find that there’s a similar challenge, we will recommend that such gathering should not go ahead. Failure to do that will result in us being confronted by a situation of mass infections in the same way that it happened in December 2020 and earlier this year, and that is something we cannot afford," Simelane said.

On Wednesday, Rage organisers announced the cancellation of the remainder of the annual event after 36 people tested positive.

"Whilst we understand the disappointment that this causes for those who were looking forward to enjoying the festival, these are unprecedented times. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support. Ticket holders will receive further information in the coming days via email.

We strongly urge all ticket holders who choose to stay in Ballito further to continue to be extremely responsible, stay safe and play their part in fighting the spread of Covid-19," organisers said.


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