Contralesa concerned over health, safety of initiates amid cold weather in Eastern Cape

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The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has voiced concerns over the health and safety of initiates amid extreme cold weather conditions, with snowfall in the Eastern Cape.

So far, 18 initiates have reportedly died during this winter initiation season, mainly due to dehydration.

Contralesa president Kgosi Mokoena says, “Unfortunately, we had to continue. You can’t abandon it half way. But what we advised our colleagues in the Eastern Cape is that they must make sure there is enough firewood out there and our initiates must be warm at all times. They must avoid sending them to do some errands in the mountain without being protected because it is dangerous. We are worried. We know that the cold weather is affecting us.”

Last year, nine initiates died in the OR Tambo District in the province during the winter season.

This prompted Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Traditional Affairs to conduct an oversight visit at initiation schools in the province.

More details in the report below from 09 July 2022: