The Gauteng government has issued a warning to customary initiation schools to register on its database or face incarceration for operating unregistered institutions.
After barely 80 applications, the administration extended the application deadline until November 24.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) established the national initiation oversight committee earlier in 2023. The organisation serves as a watchdog, ensuring that all initiation schools in the country are properly registered and in compliance with legislation.
The committee’s purpose is to reduce the high incidence of deaths and injuries at initiation schools.
“The committee calls on the relevant departments, law enforcement agencies, and traditional leaders to increase both preventative and consequence management efforts to end the unnecessary carnage of young men and women during illegal initiation school practises,” says Gauteng COGTA spokesperson Mary Martins. As a result, every effort must be made to protect the safety of the initiates and to prevent injuries and deaths during these traditional initiations.”