Initiation ceremonies can resume in the Eastern Cape, except for Nelson Mandela Bay

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Young men at an initiation school in Port Elizabeth years ago.
Young men at an initiation school in Port Elizabeth years ago.
GALLO IMAGES: Graeme Williams
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that initiation ceremonies in the Eastern Cape may go ahead.
  • This excludes the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality which is currently considered a Covid-19 hotspot. 
  • While some are looking forward to continue with the ceremonies, others are worried it will flare up Covid-19 cases in the Eastern Cape.


The country has been waiting for the presidential update on initiation ceremonies since last month when the Buffalo City Metro Traditional Circumcision Association chair, Andile Siko and many other traditional activists of the initiation ritual proposed that it resume in December.

The proposal came after the traditional ritual was called off in June due to the high infections of Covid-19 and the lockdown regulations at the time.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday evening that the initiation ceremonies may go ahead in the Eastern Cape under strict health protocols. However, he added that due to the Nelson Mandela Bay being a Covid-19 hotspot, initiation in this city will not be allowed.

Read: "Senseless tradition": Parent’s share their thoughts on hospital circumcision vs traditional initiation

Parent24 spoke to one of the families in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape who were looking forward to the announcement as their son wanted to go to the initiation school this summer.

"Considering what the president said about allowing the initiation, we will start with the preparation because our son was already feeling embarrassed as he is older and was supposed to be initiated last year," the family member said.

"Our son will be pleased as he was already disappointed when the ritual was called off in June, and there were doubts it will happen this summer. We are putting our trust in the surgeons who are doing this ritual," the family member added. 

But not everyone agrees with the president's decision, with some taking to social media to express their concerns. 

Check out some of the comments from Twitter below:

Some members of the public thought that the president was making a mistake by allowing initiations to go ahead as they believe it will increase the spread of infections in the province.

Others thought that instead the president should have banned the travelling between provinces to curb the spread of the virus.

Some parents also commented boldly about their children not going to initiation school regardless of what the President announced.

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