Zero Fatalities or Incidents In The Western Cape this Initiation Season
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, has announced zero deaths and no hospitalizations for the initiation season in the Western Cape.
Minister Marais was addressing the Western Cape Initiation Forums at a consultative meeting in Stellenbosch this weekend.
Because initiation is a cultural practice with health implications, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport aims to create a safe and enabling environment for the rite of passage to be observed responsibly.
Minister Marais said, “the past winter initiation season has shown that all stakeholders managed to work better together. Zero fatalities and no hospitalisation incidents were reported. This is a season that results in such tragic and unnecessary loss of life in many parts of the country. Through our partnerships, we have kept the number of incidents of harm to initiates where it should be: Zero”.
Initiation practitioners are encouraged to follow the prescripts of the Initiation Framework and Protocol document, especially the criteria for traditional surgeons and the minimum requirements for the three phases of initiation: pre-, during and post-. These criteria for Traditional Surgeons include:
- Must be older than 40 years to be registered.
- May not perform circumcisions if not registered with the initiation forum, or without proper training.
- May not perform circumcision when under the influence of alcohol or any other drug.
- Must ensure that the area where circumcision is performed is hygienic and clean.
- Assist carers in monitoring the wound during the first eight days
- Ensure that carers do proper work and must report findings to the initiation forum and parents; and
- Health emergency cases of initiates must be reported to the initiation forum, and initiates must be evacuated to ensure that proper treatment is provided by a medical doctor.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport has made provision for training and development for initiation practitioners. Practitioners are encouraged to make use of the training provided which includes first-aid, fire and environmental management and skills development.
This support is provided to increase wellness and optimise safety to ensure the traditional cultural practice that illustrates the transition from boyhood to manhood is successfully performed.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this a safe initiation season in the Western Cape. Zero deaths, and Zero hospitalisations means people can live out their culture in a safe and conducive environment,” said Minister Marias.