DCAS Commits to Safe Initiation
The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport hosted an initiation forums consultative meeting on 29 August at Okkie Jooste Cultural Facility in Stellenbosch. Representatives from various initiation forums and initiation practitioners from across the Western Cape took part in a consultative meeting.
The meeting was held to give the representatives an opportunity to discuss initiate safety, protecting cultural knowledge, as well as any concerns for the upcoming summer initiation season. DCAS has made provision for the various training and development of initiation practitioners and urges practitioners to make use of the opportunities presented to them. The training includes first-aid and fire training as well as environmental management.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, welcomed all the participants and said DCAS understands the unique challenges that the Western Cape faces with regards to the identification and management of initiation sites, safe and hygienic practices, as well as pre and post care.
Minister Marais thanked participants in the meeting for their efforts to ensure the safety of initiates during the past winter season. ”Because initiation is a cultural practice with health implications, DCAS aims to create a safe and enabling environment for the effective rite of passage” said Minister Marais.
Jane Moleleki, Director of Arts, Culture and Language for DCAS thanked all participants for their guidance, commitment and support in preserving the culture of initiation. She also said that we should aim to repeat the last incident free winter season. ”With the past winter season, our province had a good story to tell. The Western Cape had no incidents, due to your contribution and support given by DCAS” she said.
DCAS actively takes steps to promote safe initiation through its initiation protocol and guidelines and through hosting meetings at which the custodians of cultural knowledge can discuss matters of mutual concern.