Tania Colyn, the head of communications at the provincial department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, said the department provided support to initiation forums throughout the province to ensure a successful season.
“We do a lot of preparations ahead of the initiation period and provide training and support to registered carers and traditional surgeons. We are in constant contact with these forums to ensure that there is open communication and that they can request any assistance they might need from the department,” she said.
The department said the Western Cape had a 99.74% safe passage rate for initiation and more than 40 registered initiation sites.
Madoda Mabutho, a committee member of the Embo Initiation Forum in Langa, has called on parents and communities to adhere to the guidelines as gazetted by the provincial department of Culture, Arts and Sport.
He said forums had challenges where parents would abandon their children to the carers.
“The initiation programme needs concerted efforts from both the government, communities and parents to ensure the practice has the dignity and grandeur it deserves. We offer pre-initiation sessions for prospective initiates through physical activities, drug and health education. We also have (a)refresher course for initiate carers”
A member of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Nkosi Xolile Ndevu, said more effort was needed to educate residents about their role to ensure no life was lost. He asked parents to regularly check on their children to ensure carers were carrying out their duties and to monitor the initiate progress.@TheCapeArgus