Safer Initiation | Western Cape Government

Safer Initiation


The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) recognises the importance of cultural traditional practices.

As a cultural rite of passage, male initiation illustrates the transition from boyhood to manhood. There are two seasons in the Western Cape for this noble tradition.  Each year winter initiation takes place from May to July and the summer season is from November to January.

DCAS promotes safe and healthy initiation through its initiation guidelines, the development of appropriate infrastructure at initiation sites and by involving custodians throughout the province. It also draws on the intellectual capacity of cultural and medical practitioners. 

Safer Initiation

You can read more about the steps to follow when you want to take your son for initiation in the Western Cape and find the contact details of the Chairpersons of Initiation Forums online.

The departmental support is guided by the Initiation Framework and Protocol and encourages:

  • Community participation on issues pertaining to initiation.
  • Greater community awareness.
  • Increased awareness of health concerns.
  • Co-operation with health institutions.
  • The establishment of practitioner structures.
  • Standardisation of the practice.
  • Skilled traditional practitioners and carers.
  • Bringing the practice in line with the modern trends.
  • Seasonal job creation opportunities in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
  • Secure and serviced initiation sites.
  • Mainstreaming of the practice.

Together, we’re creating a safe and enabling environment for the effective rite of passage for young men during customary initiation season. Find out more:

Let us continue to preserve traditional cultural practices in the Western Cape.

Clement Williams (Sukwini)
DCAS Arts, Culture and Language:
Western Cape Initiation Programme, Khoisan and Traditional Affairs
Tel: 021 483 9717/ 9671 or 073 084 0312

The content on this page was last updated on 28 June 2023