Following the move to adjusted Level 2 lockdown regulations, the Western Cape government has backtracked on a plan to open initiation schools this month.
In March, the provincial cabinet decided to lift the suspension on initiation practices in the province from 1 June, dependent on the status of the pandemic and the approval of the Western Cape Risk-Adjusted Plan by the national Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
The decision was taken after an announcement by the president in February, lifting the suspension on the initiation rite of passage, pending the implementation of risk-adjusted plans to curb the spread of Covid-19.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country would move to adjusted Level 2 restrictions, with an earlier curfew starting at 23:00 and gatherings limited to 100 people indoors and 250 outdoors.
“As we are now in an established resurgence of cases and due to the expected third wave occurring over the period for which initiation under alert Level 1 has been approved, the Western Cape Department of Health, in the interest of the safety of all, has issued an advisory recommending a postponement until the end of the third wave in the Western Cape,” said Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais.
Traditional leaders previously raised concerns to News24 over the possible loss of life should rules not be adhered to following the lifting of the ban on initiations.
AmaXhosa, AmaHlubi and Basotho practice the initiation rite of passage in the Western Cape.