Cape Town – With the summer initiation season expected to resume in a month, the Somagwaza Institute said preparations were in place and it hoped the state of disaster would not be extended.
Somagwaza Institute chairperson Sikelela Zokufa said the institute in conjunction with initiation forums had put protocols in place to ensure the safety of initiates.
“We have protocols we have drafted to say, if we allow initiates to go the mountain, such will be followed. This will be shared with families and the community, carers and surgeons, to ensure maximum adherence. Our culture allows for one initiate inside a hut; we just have to ensure that gatherings involve immediate family members,” he said.
Zokufa said more parents had indicated that they wanted their children to take part, especially those that missed the June season.
He said the number of initiates was expected to double; however, with careful preparations and strict regulations in place, the safety of initiates would be ensured.
“We have planned to divide the winter season into three groups, between October and December, to control overcrowding. There is also Covid-19 training for surgeons and carers, to start in the first week of October, for them to know what is expected of them,” he said.
Madoda Mabuto from the Embo Initiation forum said because forums had had to abide by the lockdown regulations, the number of initiates would increase, putting more pressure on the forums.
“We currently have a long list of registered prospective initiates. Others were set to have (undergone the ritual) last year; and others this past season, and due to personal reasons and the lockdown they couldn’t,” he said.