The Western Cape winter initiation season was set to get under way on Wednesday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
The Western Cape winter initiation season was set to get under way on Wednesday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Level 2 puts breaks on W Cape winter initiation season

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 31, 2021

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THE provincial health department has recommended a postponement of the traditional winter initiation season, which was to officially begin on Wednesday.

This is according to Cultural Affairs MEC Anroux Marais, adding that the advisory by the Western Cape Department of Health has been communicated to the stakeholders.

While the country was under Alert Level 1, her department had given the green light for the winter initiation season to go ahead from June 1 subject to the status of the Covid-19 pandemic and the approval of the Western Cape risk adjusted plan by the national Department of Traditional Affairs.

She said her department has reviewed the Western Cape initiation risk adjusted plan currently aligned to Level 1 regulations following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement, moving the country to Alert Level 2.

“As we are now in an established resurgence of cases and due to the expected third wave occurring over the period for which initiation under Alert Level 1 has been approved, the Western Cape Department of Health, in the interest of the safety of all, has issued an advisory recommending a postponement until the end of the third wave in the Western Cape,” Marais said.

“To ensure the safety of all involved and to respond strongly and quickly to an increase in cases to dramatically reduce the number of admissions and deaths, we have been monitoring the status of the pandemic together with all relevant sectors of society, including traditional leaders who are the custodians of the practice,” said Marais.

“As we now move into heightened surveillance with the onset of the expected third wave, we urge everyone to adhere to protective behaviours to reduce new cases to stop the spread of the virus in order to save lives. The department has kept its word and with the assistance of our valued stakeholders, produced a roadmap for the implementation of initiation practice under Covid-19 conditions in the Western Cape. While we understand the increasing frustration due to the delays in initiation practices in the Western Cape, the collaborative Whole of Society Approach to the challenges brought on by the pandemic and the co-operation of communities are essential in containing the spread and recovering from its unprecedented implications,” she said.

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