Cogta to establish rescue centres for initiates

2015-12-10 08:30
(City Press)

(City Press)

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East London – The Eastern Cape Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) has committed to lead the charge to minimise initiate deaths in the Chris Hani District Municipality.

Cogta said it would be establishing rescue centres because of the rising number of initiate deaths in the area.

In a statement, Cogta said the centres will be earmarked for hot spot areas in Lukhanji, Tsolwana and Inxuba Yethemba local municipalities.

The decision was taken on Wednesday in a meeting held at Thobikula Indoor Sport Centre in Lukhanji Local Municipality.

It was convened after the chairperson of the Eastern Cape of Traditional Leaders (ECHTL) Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima called for an immediate intervention.

The meeting was attended by Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle, Mayor of Chris Hani District Municipality Councillor Mxolisi Koyo and Head of Department for Health Dr Thobile Mbengashe.

“We will enlist the support of the South African Police Services to work with our monitoring teams to remove the initiates from the schools to the rescue centres.

“The intervention will be done after consultation with key stakeholders including traditional leaders in the affected areas. Dehydration appears to be the main cause of deaths and doctors will be available in the rescue centres in partnership with the Community Development Foundation of South Africa,” said Matanzima.

He said the department will also solicit support from other sector departments to acquire tents and the provision of water to the rescue centres.

Matanzima added that monitoring plans are yielding “good results” in the OR Tambo District Municipality and those would be “replicated to other areas to save lives”.

In some cases there was a lack of parental support, resulting in complications and deaths.

“We need leadership visibility at all levels for the sake of our children,” he said

Thus far 21 initiates have died in the province with 11 deaths in Chris Hani, four at OR Tambo, two at Alfred Nzo, three in Joe Gqabi and one in Amathole.

Cogta said the monitoring teams have visited 301 initiation schools and saw 5094 initiates. Of this number 374 were illegal initiates and 58 were sent to traditional initiation centres to finish the process of the ritual. Others were sent to hospitals for immediate medical attention and later released to the care of their families.

Read more on:    east london  |  culture  |  initiation

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