December 5 2013 at 07:38am By Yolande Stander
Plettenberg Bay - This year’s Plett Rage has so far been crime-free, but pharmacists and cashiers have had their hands full meeting the demand by school-leaving party-goers for morning-after pills and condoms since the festival started last week.
“We have especially been busy since Monday and have seen between 15 and 20 youngsters a day in here asking for the morning-after pill,” Andiswa Tokwe of Plettenberg Bay’s Alpha Pharm said.
Market Square Clicks Pharmacy staff said this was not a new trend and that they ordered additional stock of the emergency contraceptives for the Plett Rage period every year. Omega Pharmacy staff also reported an increase in morning-after pill sales since last week.
Manager of Melville’s Corner Clicks Syd Mpela said condoms had been “very popular” over the past few days, especially among teenage boys. “We have been selling about 600 condoms a day now and have had to restock daily,” Mpela said.
Checkers manager Shaun Davids said condom sales had doubled since the start of the festival. “This is something that happens over this period every year, so we know what to expect and have increased the stock,” Davids said.
Market Square Pick n Pay cashier Nosipho Webo said by 9am every day their normal daily stock of about 200 to 300 condoms were sold out and by 10am on Wednesday there were only three boxes left. “We usually see the youngsters come in at about 9am and then at 3pm before they go out to party. We have to restock about twice a day now,” Webo said.
By 11am on Wednesday, Engen’s government-sponsored condoms were nearly finished while Shell Ultra spokesman Peggy Koyana has been having to restock the free condom dispenser in the men’s restroom three times a day. A dispenser holds about 100 condoms.
“We keep a box in the storeroom here and we keep having to refill the dispenser, about three times a day,” Koyana said.
Matric pupil Mikayla Flesch, 18, said although she was responsible she was aware that many of her peers were having sex during the festival.
“Matric Rage has changed from something that should be fun into something that is just drinking and having sex,” Flesch said.
“We have heard there are some campsites where there are no rules. Everyone is just getting drunk and having sex,” Becky Adams, 18, said.
Liquor stores are also reporting as much as a 50 percent increase in alcohol sales, while other retailers say they have also seen products, such as well-known liver remedies used to counter over-indulgence, fly off the shelves.
“Essentiale (liver remedy brand) is very popular among the youngsters at this time every year,” Mpela said.
Prespy Daweti of Tops liquor store said alcohol sales had at least doubled this week.
“We see a lot of school-leavers coming in and buying cases of beer and ciders. The guys buy mostly beer and the girls ciders. Shooters are also popular as well as vodka,” Daweti said. Pick n Pay liquor store staff said they too had seen an increase in sales of about 50 percent.