Ricochet News

Nelson Mandela Bay says it's ready for traditional initiation season

Nov 15, 2017
Nelson Mandela Bay says it's ready for traditional initiation season

It's all system go for Nelson Mandela Bay as the Public Health Directorate has made all the necessary preparations in time for the annual pilgrimage to initiation sites across the Metro.

The City is one of the highly successful Metro's when it comes to the number of zero incidents during and after the initiation season. Last year, an initiate died following an alleged drug overdose.

This was an isolated incident and was not linked to the tradition itself.

Over the past few months, ward councillors, Public Health Standing Committee members, traditional surgeons and nurses have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming initiation season to ensure that there are zero incidents.

They have been taken through intensive workshops and these have also been extended to prospective initiates and their parents for information sharing purposes.

It is quite important that all role players are made ready before the start of each season in order to ensure that this sacred Xhosa tradition is not tainted and lives are sparred during this time.

Cautionary measures have been taken and this has been done through the signing of legal forms by all parties concerned. Medical doctors will be dispatched to key health facilities where communities can easily reach them for urgent medical assistance. These forms include a pre-circumcision medical examination form, a parental consent form, permission to perform circumcision form and permission to hold an initiation school.

On 26 - 27 October 2017 a final oversite tour of circumcision sites was undertaken and some of the sites were found to have accumulated refuse and are currently being cleaned by the Waste Sub Directorate.

The Municipality will also provide tanked water and where possible, piped water to ensure that initiates do not travel long distances to fetch water.

As a Caring City, the Municipality will continue to provide all the necessary support as soon as the season commences until the last initiate has left the initiation site.