Zero fatalities recorded during WC summer initiation season

The Western Cape’s Cultural Affairs Department said that no fatalities were recorded during the province’s summer initiation Season, which ended at the end of January.

During the past summer season, 1 417 initiates completed the rite of passage into adulthood, in 35 initiation sites throughout the Western Cape.

‘’The Western Cape has maintained the track record of a safe initiation practice as parents proudly take their boys for initiation to prepare them for adulthood. The initiation rite of passage that is predominantly practiced by AmaXhosa, AmaHlubi and Basotho in the Western Cape went well,’’ said MEC, Anroux Marais.

‘’The Western Cape Government is committed to ensure compliance in terms of the Customary Initiation Act (2 of 2021) and the COVID-19 Standard Operations Procedures (SOP) to make sure the rite of passage is preserved and practiced in a safe and conducive environment. The Department Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) plays a pivotal role in creating a safe and enabling environment for the effective rite of passage to responsible adulthood and can now confirm that of 37 initiation forums in the province, 30 participated during the summer season. Initiation forums are bodies that play a critical role in preserving the practice as well as ensuring compliance and keep the DCAS informed of developments in the traditional communities,’’ she added.

During the season 10 initiates, 6 in the Cape Winelands and 4 in the Garden Route, were hospitalised for one day and were discharged due to dehydration.

‘’Although the DCAS has put systems in place to face challenges, the lack of drinking water at the initiation schools, partial adherence to medical screening processes by some parents and surgeons still transpired. As required, parents are to take boys for medical screening at local clinics at least two months before initiation. ‘’

‘’The Department remains committed to facilitate the safe return of all initiates. We congratulate all the parents and the young men for the successful completion of the rite of passage. We encourage parents to co-operate with the Department and all other stakeholders in this fraternity to ensure a safe rite of passage,’’ added Marais.

‘’The cooperation by parents with respect to compliance with the regulatory framework is of great importance to the practice, especially in terms of the full window period for medical screening. Parents are key stakeholders in this practice and their availability during the seasons is of utmost importance. In some cases, for moral support to their boys and material support as well as to act timeously when there is a need.’’


Done By: Mitchum George


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