Limpopo initiation schools’ season comes to an end

Tafelkop

MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA), Basikopo Makamu, has wrapped-up initiation season in Limpopo Province.

Makamu closed the 2022 winter initiation season at a ceremony held at Bakgaga Ba Kopa Royal Authority in Tafelkop Village outside Groblersdal last week Saturday.

Over 1600 initiates, who were part of the current initiation season from various schools in Tafelkop and surrounding villages, including boys and girls, gathered at the event for their graduations during the day.

Speaking during the initiation schools closing ceremony event, Makamu said in overall, the province had a smooth initiation season period in 2022.

“This is despite a number of bogus schools, which were closed down during the process and the unfortunate deaths we experienced in some of those schools in the province. We should promote our cultural practice and at the same time consider safety of our children,” he said.

However, Makamu said the department, together with traditional leadership and parents, worked tirelessly to ensure a zero tolerance during the initiation season.

“We are saddened by the death of initiates, one death is too many, and it won’t be accepted. It is sad that parents take children to initiation school and end up having a situation where a boy does not come back home,” he said.

The MEC indicated overcrowding in some of the initiation schools as a challenge that was experienced during the 2022 initiation period.

“As a result of a delayed initiation season that was supposed to take place last year and postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, we have in 2022 experienced a high number of young boys who were attending initiation schools this year. Hardly in five days after the initiation season started, we had more than two thousand initiates in one school,” he said.

Makamu said they only allowed overcrowding because they were avoiding the opening of bogus initiation schools in the villages.

He said the department is concerned about a number of bogus schools that were operating in the province during the period.

“I must say that in our province, we had about 29 illegal initiation schools, which we tried to close them. Our challenge was that parents of the initiates supports and participates in these bogus schools and defends them. We can’t allow illegal schools because we can’t regulate them. There are prescribed forms that needs to be completed and we have to invite the Department of Health to come and oversee. Such things could not happen in the illegal initiation schools,” he said.

Makamu said he is working with senior traditional leaders to make sure that the schools are properly regulated and that similar problems are not repeated in the next initiation season.

 

 

 

Thapelo Motseo

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