Contralesa against scrapping initiation due to cold weather

More than 30 initiates died while undergoing the rite of passage last winter.

FILE: The National House of Traditional Leaders has called for provinces to postpone with the fear that cold weather conditions could affect the health of the initiates. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) says it believes scrapping initiation this winter season may not be possible because the June month is critical to the rite of passage.

The National House of Traditional Leaders has called for provinces to postpone with the fear that cold weather conditions could affect the health of the initiates.

More than 30 initiates died while undergoing the rite of passage last winter.

Contralesa's Xolile Ndevu says the situation poses a conundrum.

"We must remember that the foundation of initiation school is coming from the June month. June is the month where they get to count their years of being into manhood."

Ndevu adds, however, that the organisation encourages extra vigilance.

"We are ensuring that there are awareness campaigns going on to say the conditions this time will not be the same as the last time. So you must exercise extreme caution in terms of ensuring that your boys are safe in the bush."