Region’s initiate death toll still high

THE Chris Hani municipal area once again topped the death toll during the 2016 summer initiation season for the second consecutive year, despite government availing resources to ensure a safe process.

Chris Hani District Municipality communications manager Thobeka Mqamelo said an evaluation meeting took place yesterday with a final report presented by the provincial departments of cooperative governance and traditional affairs and health.

“We note that this district has once again had the most fatalities in the province with 12 deaths recorded out of 29. The deaths were spread across the district with seven in Enoch Mgijima, two in Engcobo and Intsika Yethu and one in Inxuba Yethemba.”

The district was at the top in the 2015 summer season with 16 of the 40 reported initiate deaths from across the province.

She said the deaths occurred despite the best efforts of government, including community dialogues, constant interaction with communities on initiation and awareness campaigns and ensuring the functionality of initiation forums.

Mqamelo said in most cases the deaths were attributed to dehydration.

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