President Cyril Ramaphosa has praised traditional leaders for the manner in which they handled the customary initiation process during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You were creative, you came forward with ideas, which proved once again that working together is the best way of tackling the problems that beset our country. I was pleased that we were able to find each other ... around a very difficult and trying issue, such as initiation,” said Ramaphosa.
Speaking during the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in parliament on Thursday, Ramaphosa said the initiation process was one testing area for the government but traditional leaders ensured that there was adherence to the regulations.
Though it was a difficult decision to make, he said traditional leaders agreed to suspend initiation when the pandemic was at its peak.
“As a result we were able to ensure that fewer people were exposed to the virus ... We know that the death of a single initiate is one death too many,” said Ramaphosa.