Summer initiation season suspended

The practice of initiation has been suspended in the Western Cape until further notice.

The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, gazetted on Tuesday that male and female initiation practices are prohibited for the duration of the national state of disaster.

‘’Guided by the prescribed national regulations, recommendations from the Department of Health and consultation with the initiation forums across the province, the Summer Initiation season will unfortunately not go ahead as scheduled in compliance with the mandatory protocols currently in place,’’ said Western Cape’s MEC of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais.

Marais says her department will monitor the situation on a daily basis.

“The Department Cultural Affairs and Sport’s key objective is to ensure a safe and enabling environment for initiates and the effective rite of passage. To give effect to its intention, the Department plans to host training sessions early next year for cultural practitioners, inclusive of carers, traditional surgeons and members of the Initiation Forums. Consultation with all stakeholders, interested groups and individuals will be on-going during the current Covid-19 situation”.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Deputy Minister, Obed Bapela, said government has consulted widely across all sectors and is pleading with traditional leaders and communities to observe the suspension of initiation.

He also encouraged them to educate communities about the dangers of the Coronavirus, especially as it relates to this important cultural practice.

“To this end, government and all stakeholders will not tolerate bogus initiation schools and anyone who is found to be disobeying the order of initiation suspension in the wake of COVID-19.”


Done By: Mitchum George