President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday applauded the traditional leaders for joining the government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You worked with us to ensure communities observe regulations and protocols, including with respect to funerals and other gatherings,” Ramaphosa said when he was opening the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL).
He also said if it were not for their concerted efforts, many more lives would have been lost. You have also understood, as we all do, that sacrifices have had to be made if we are to keep ourselves and our communities safe,” said.
Ramaphosa also commended the NHTL, the provincial houses and Contralesa for their management of the customary initiation process during the pandemic.
“As hard a decision as it was to make, you agreed that we suspend initiation in all provinces when the pandemic was at its height.
“As a result, we were able to ensure that fewer people were exposed to the virus,” he said.
Ramaphosa noted that traditional leaders had created awareness around the health and safety at the customary initiation schools when regulations were eased during the festive season.
Traditional leaders, through their structures and working with government, conducted rigorous awareness campaigns and monitoring, helping to ensure that illegal initiation schools were closed down.
“We know that the death of a single initiate is one death too many, and we must build on the improvements that have been made,” he said
Ramaphosa recommitted to host the Presidential Summit on Land, which was promised last year.
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