The Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), is calling on parents to commit to zero tolerance approach to initiation deaths especially as the summer season having just commenced.
The summer initiation takes place in some provinces such as Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Western Cape and the North West. Although the initiation season has just started in some provinces, some will start immediately after the end of the 2017 school examinations. This season will see young men across the country embarking on this sacred path which has been a central part of the traditional African cultures since time immemorial and a necessary process of many African communities.
In those provinces where summer initiation is practiced, the provincial monitoring teams together with the law enforcement agencies will be hard at work responding to challenges on the ground and dealing accordingly with those who continue to be perpetrators.
Like other seasons before, this summer season might bring about some unwanted challenges like abductions, kidnappings, illegal and unregistered schools and the deaths of initiates, hence the importance of the involvement of parents. The Department of Traditional Affairs will continue to work tirelessly with all stakeholders in an effort to bring to an end this challenges, especially the death of initiates. “In as much as government will remain visible and vigilant in this period, we are urging communities, especially parents, care givers or legal guardians to play their part and support our goal of ensuring zero tolerance to challenges that emanates during initiation seasons”, said Minister van Rooyen.
Deputy Minister Bapela emphasised that as government we will not be able to bring an end to this illegal initiation schools if communities are not involved. “It takes communities to raise responsible young men who can contribute positively to the future of our country”, said DM Bapela. The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs also called the coordinating forums in provinces to continue being vigilant and report illegal schools within their within their communities.
Parents have to be involved in this process of initiation from the beginning to the end as this will assist to save many promising lives”, said Deputy Minister Bapela. In pursuit of the “Zero Deaths” campaign during this initiation season, parents are urged to ensure that their children are medically and psychologically prepared to enter this sacred path. The period within which the 2017 summer initiation will be taking place, is expected to register high temperatures weather and excessive heat is possible, hence the need for initiates to remain hydrated.
Parents, care givers, legal guardians and communities have to follow the following tips before initiates embark on this process:
- Initiates should drink lots of water ahead of undergoing this process.
- Ensure initiates are psychologically ready.
- Ensure initiates are medically checked (pre-screening).
- Parents should use legal initiation schools (parents should insist on seeing a registered permission for the school to operate).
- Report the mushrooming of illegal initiation schools.
- Use properly registered initiation schools that has registered surgeons.
Parents should always know that they cannot in anyway abdicate their responsibilities on their children, even when the initiates are at the initiation schools, they are still responsible for their well-being. Parents should also keep in mind that children too have rights in line with the constitution of our country.
Parents are also urged and encouraged to work in partnership with traditional leaders, government, stakeholders and role-players to ensure the creation of a conducive environment for a successful and safe initiation season.
Let’s talk zero tolerance – #InitiationDTA
Head of Communications – COGTA
Cell: 083 378 9495