All traditional leaders, surgeons and health practitioners should adhere to the decision, says Limpopo MEC. The Limpopo and North West provinces have joined other provinces and suspended the 2020 initiation school season amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The two provinces said the suspension was necessary because of the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Northwest Premier Job Mokgoro said yesterday the move to suspend the programme was in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. The province was mindful of the impact the lockdown would have on its citizens and was planning to roll out intervention measures to those hardest hit.
“We will put in place intervention measures for families in distress by providing them with food parcels, blankets, dignity perks and other vitalities during the lockdown,” said Mokgoro.
The province has thus far recorded five virus cases.
The MEC for local government in North West, Gordon Kegakilwe, said the province has agreed in principle with the House of Traditional Leaders in the province that no initiation school would take place in the province this winter.
Rodgers Basikopo Makamu, Limpopo MEC for cooperative governance, housing and traditional affairs, said yesterday Limpopo was “not another country in Africa, but a province which does what other provinces do”.
“We have all observed the announcement by the president to stay at home and make sure we play our part in fighting the escalation of coronavirus. This virus is deadly and does not need an individual to fight it.
“That is why, since the announcement by the president, my office, which is in charge of all 27 municipalities in the province with more than 5.6 million people, took up the baton and started working against the spread of the virus.
“My premier said I must take everyone, including my family, my colleagues, my comrades, my neighbours, my headman, and my councillor to the streets to spread the gospel of the lockdown. With that said, the initiation schools, which we call Koma Schools in Limpopo, is not exceptional.
“We have also taken a decision as a province, together will all traditional leaders, to suspend the initiation school programmes earmarked to begin in May and June this year,” said Makamu.
“This decision is informed by the threat of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. All traditional leaders, traditional surgeons and traditional health practitioners should adhere to the decision.
“All stakeholders should focus on the fight against the virus. This is done for the best interests of initiates and protection of human life in general.
“The department and the house of traditional leaders would also like to take this opportunity to urge South Africans to heed the call and stay at home, avoid public places and cancel all social activities during the national 21 days lockdown period,” said Makamu.
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Source: The Citizen