Medical screening for physical fitness and the
provision of water tanks and firefighting equipment in case of wildfires are among the
precautionary measures introduced to ensure initiates’ safety.Of the
1,417 initiates who completed their rite of passage at 35 initiation sites throughout the Western Cape, only 10 were hospitalised — for one day due to dehydration.
Zero fatalities were recorded as interventions to ensure safe initiation paid off.
The summer season’s initiation rite of passage, predominantly practised by amaXhosa, amaHlubi and Basotho in the Western Cape, began in November and formally ended on January 31.
Among the measures introduced by the province was for parents to take prospective initiates for medical screening at local clinics at least two months before initiation to ensure their physical fitness.
Other steps taken included:
- provision of water tanks;
- firefighting equipment at initiation sites in case of wildfires; and
- training of cultural practitioners on hygiene and Covid-19 infection prevention control measures.