Enrol your children at registered initiation schools - Gauteng govt

2017-06-20 17:39
(Leon Sadiki, Citypress)

(Leon Sadiki, Citypress)

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Johannesburg – The Gauteng Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and provincial traditional leaders have urged parents to ensure that they enrol their children at registered initiation schools.

Cogta MEC Paul Mashatile - together with iNkosi Mahlangu of the Amandebele Ndzundza Sokhulumi and Kgosi Kekana of the Amandebele Ba Lebelo Traditional Communities - has issued the warning ahead of the 2017 winter initiation season. 

"We are aware of dubious and criminal elements taking advantage of this cultural practice. Hence, in instances where unregistered initiation schools are identified, the children attending such schools must be regarded as abducted and relevant legislation must be enforced to bring those unscrupulous elements to book," Mashatile said.

He said measures had been put in place to ensure the implementation of the National Policy on the Customary Practice of Initiation in South Africa, which will force initiation schools to operate under a set of rules and conditions.

Some of the conditions include that the initiation takes place during school holidays.

The department said initiation season was expected to take place between June 30 and July 23.

"Under no circumstances should initiation schools commence before a school holiday or continue beyond a school holiday. In exceptional cases, the owner of the initiation school shall negotiate and substantiate, with evidence, why the school shall not conform to the dates endorsed by the province," Mashatile said.

He said initiation schools had to submit applications to municipalities four weeks before the start of the initiation season. The permission to host an initiation school had to comply with the National Policy Framework on the Cultural Practice of Initiation, and the relevant municipal by-laws.

All initiates would have to undergo compulsory medical health screening before attending initiation schools.  

Members of the public can call 0800 111 166 to report suspected wrongdoing.

"The Gauteng provincial government urges municipalities to enforce the by-laws without fear or favour, and for law-enforcement agencies to act firmly against those breaking the law in exploitation of this cultural practice," said Mashatile. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  culture  |  initiation school

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