The Chairperson of the Provincial Initiation Coordinating Committee (PICC) Nkosi Langa Mavuso has officially declared the 2021 Summer Season of Ulwaluko (traditional initiation) officially opened for two months from 12 November 2021 to 12 January 2022. The guiding theme is: Mabaye Bephila Babuye Bephila, Siyazingca Ngesiko Lethu (Safe passage to manhood), said Nkosi Mavuso.

Nkosi Mavuso said the Risk Adjusted Strategy (RAS) for the season has been endorsed by the Provincial Executive Council (Exco) of the Province in line with the resolution 73 (1) of the Disaster Management Act under Alert level 1. He added that the RAS enforces all parents to subject their boys to Covid 19 screening as well as health screening before going to the bush.

Equally, Nkosi Mavuso encouraged parents to vaccinate their children beforehand to prevent deaths and severe illness resulting in hospitalisation. However, “vaccination is not a prerequisite for ulwaluko. Boys who are not vaccinated will still undergo the initiation practice. Therefore, all boys together with iingcibi (traditional surgeon) namakhankatha (traditional nurse) will be subjected to Covid 19 screening and testing regardless of their vaccination status.”

Nkosi Mavuso said the Provincial Initiation Task Team (PITT) has met over two days in OR Tambo to evaluate state of readiness for the season.

“I am refreshed by the amount of good work done by our teams across the Province towards the summer season. Indeed, as always, we are ready for the summer season 2021 within the Covid 19 regulations as per the RAS,” said Nkosi Mavuso.

“Initiation practices are allowed under this resolution including Imigidi (home coming celebrations) and traditional leaders are aware of it hence they are expected to take all the necessary steps to guarantee compliance in their areas. Any deviation from the resolution will result in the closure of the amabhuma (traditional initiation huts) and initiation schools by our monitoring teams,” said Nkosi Mavuso.

He added that in the light of the changes with regards to the representation of traditional leaders in Municipal Councils, during this period, the Chairpersons of Local Houses (CLH) are encouraged to work with the existing District and Metro Initiation Forums until the end of the summer season.

“Our appeal for collaboration is informed by our desire for a season that is free of deaths and injuries of our children. Our monitoring interventions seek to complement efforts by parents and families to protect life and limbs of our children,” said Nkosi Mavuso.

As part of transitional arrangements in Municipal Councils, Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha appealed to the outgoing Mayors to ensure a “seamless and well managed transition to curb the loss of life and injuries” during the summer season of ulwaluko.

“I have requested the departing Mayors and Speakers to extend the support that is provided to the initiation practice of ulwaluko including preparations for the upcoming summer season and participation during the initiation awareness campaigns,” said MEC Nqatha. //End//

Issued by Cogta EC. For more information, please contact Mamnkeli Ngam on 071 685 7981 or Makhaya Komisa on 066 381 8259.