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Cooperative Governance Dept expects low initiation deaths this season

The department’s Legadima Leso says efforts to ensure the safety of initiates appear to be paying off.

FILE: Boys who have undergone a circumcision ceremony walk near Qunu in the Eastern Cape in 2013. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Cooperative Governance Department (Cogta) says it expects to see a sharp decline in the number of deaths reported this initiation season due to increased compliance with its requirements.

More than 50 people died during last year's winter initiation season with the bulk of the deaths recorded in the Eastern Cape.

At the moment, the department has recorded 24 deaths this season but says it will wait for updated figures as the period comes to an end today.

Cogta says while its does expect this year's death rate to be lower, its ultimate aim is to eliminate any deaths during initiation seasons.

The department's Legadima Leso says efforts to ensure the safety of initiates appear to be paying off.

"The department embarked on a campaign that spoke about zero tolerance in terms of initiation deaths. We have seen a sharp decline because when you compare the number of cases, they were very low."

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