Calls to ban initiation in summer season

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The Eastern Cape government and House of Traditional leaders are calling for the custom of initiation to be banned during the summer season, after the death of 20 initiates.

Chairperson of the House of traditional leaders Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane was speaking during a visit to initiation schools at Ngcobo and Komani, with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane.

Most initiate deaths are a result of dehydration and negligence.

Nonkonyane says the changing climate also has a negative impact on the custom.

He says: “We should not agree that initiates undergo initiation during this season because its hot.”

“This is why there is a high number of initiates who have died, it is because of dehydration. Logic therefore dictates that along the coast because of the climate we are going to propose that our government prohibits initiation during summer along the coast.”