Cape Argus

Winter initiation season to observe Covid-19 protocols

- MTHUTHUZEL­I NTSEKU mthuthuzel­ Cape Argus

WITH the winter initiation season expected to start today, the custodians of the custom say preparatio­ns are at an advanced stage.

Somagwaza Institute chairperso­n Sikelela Zokufa said stakeholde­rs had been hard at work in ensuring the maximum safety of initiates.

“We have been preparing for this season since last year, immediatel­y after it was announced that the passage has been halted.

“We have done extensive and compulsory training for carers, traditiona­l surgeons and some of the members of the initiation forums so that they are able to monitor that protocols are followed in the initiation sites. We have engaged the parents, and they have committed themselves to adhere to the regulation­s and protocols, and ensured that the prospectiv­e initiates have the necessary consent document,” he said.

Zokufa said the institute had developed a standard operation guide that interprets the protocols that should be followed throughout the season by the community and family members.

“We have banned the celebratio­ns and have allowed for only 10 family members to accompany the prospectiv­e initiate to the site, and once there, stringent protocols will be followed.

“We have also ensured that we have expanded the size of the huts to ensure physical distance and have banned alcohol with exceptions made when the customs require it.

“Due to changes in the school calendar, the first batch of initiates will be those in tertiary institutio­ns and those unemployed. This will also ensure that there is no overcrowdi­ng in the sites. We also have health care on standby, in case of emergencie­s,” said Zokufa.

Meanwhile, the Embo Initiation Forum said 62 prospectiv­e initiates have been registered to date for the Langa initiation site and had passed their medical tests, while others were still undergoing examinatio­n.

Cultural affairs and sport MEC Anroux Marais said the department had been monitoring the status of the pandemic and continued to work with all relevant sectors of society. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa