Gauteng initiation authorities call for deaths to be prevented in forthcoming winter season

Young initiates are accompanied to their homes after spending several weeks at an initiation school. l ITUMELENG ENGLISH

Young initiates are accompanied to their homes after spending several weeks at an initiation school. l ITUMELENG ENGLISH

Published Feb 17, 2024


The upcoming winter initiation season in Gauteng is a significant cultural tradition for many communities, but it also raises safety concerns.

The Provincial Initiation Coordinating Committee (PICC) started the winter initiation season with a heavy emphasis on security and adherence to applicable laws. Numerous traditional groups around the province have long engaged in the cultural practice of both male and female initiation.

The traditional initiation ritual has, regrettably, been abused by the lack of appropriate laws and institutions, leading to initiates' deaths and injuries.

With the goal of protecting initiates' lives, as well as developing and managing cultural practices, legislation has since been established and implemented. The Customary Initiation Act of 2021 established dates for the opening and closing of initiation applications, which were decided upon by the PICC on February 1, 2024.

The Gauteng application procedure will be divided into three phases and five regions, which include the City of Tshwane; the City of Ekurhuleni; Sedibeng; the City of Johannesburg; and, the West Rand.

The first phase applications open on March 1 and the deadline is April 30.

The following municipalities and their surrounding local municipalities may give application forms: Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Sedibeng District, and West Rand District Municipalities.

The CoGTA's offices are located at 30 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg. Phase 2 involves approving the application.

Registered initiation schools will be published on May 31. Phase 3 involves holding beginning courses, from June 15 to July 8,. According to Section 27(1), initiation must be held during the relevant provincial school holidays and may not interfere with or overlap with official school terms.

The committee said Gauteng would adhere to the school calendar for the beginning and end of the winter and summer initiating seasons. The winter initiation season will begin on June 15, 2024, and end on July 8, 2024.

The committee also warned that if the Customary Initiation Act is violated, there are sanctions in existence, and they will be applied. To stop the unnecessary and preventable killing of young men, the committee urges all relevant departments, law enforcement organisations, and traditional leaders to step up their efforts in both preventative and consequence management.

Saturday Star

Nobukhosi Tshabalala

[email protected]