Western Cape Kicks Off Initiation Season
On Friday, 21 June 2013, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, and the Western Cape Minister of Health, Mr Theuns Botha, handed over first-aid certificates and protective clothing to initiation carers in Guga S’Thebe, Langa.
“In the Western Cape, nobody must die,” said Dr Meyer when talking about this important rite of passage, so sadly marked by deaths in other parts of the country. The Western Cape Government is determined to ensure that, while this significant cultural practice is upheld, it adds value to the communities of the province and that the safety of all the initiates is guaranteed.
Mr Silumko Makaphula, the caretaker of the site and the co-ordinator of the Langa Initiation Committee, believes that the initiates require proper care in order for them to return safely and become responsible citizens. Makaphula says this rite of passage is not about drugs and alcohol. "We teach respect and the importance of working together," he added.
Mr Luyanda Mavula, one of the carers and a recipient of a first-aid certificate and protective clothing, says they won’t have to use their own clothes anymore, since they have received these uniforms from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. It encourages them to perform the duty with the necessary decorum.