The Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance Department said that while the government would do all it could to regulate the winter circumcision season, communities must work together to prevent the deaths of initiates.
The winter initiation season is expected to start from Friday, with about 40,000 young men expected to undergo the customary rite of passage.
Every year, botched traditional circumcisions in the province make headlines as some young men are badly injured, and in many cases die.
MEC Xolile Nqatha has called on initiation schools, traditional healers, parents, and police to work together to ensure the safety of initiates and to report illegal initiation schools.
“We want to appeal that in instances where kids have been abducted, have been circumcised illegally and have been abused, refused water and mutilated, parents must without any shadow of doubt run to the nearest police station and open cases against any perpetrators of illegal activities during this period,” Nqatha said.
Forty initiates died during the last summer initiation season.
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