It remains a priority of the Limpopo Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA) to ensure safety and success in the practice of traditional initiation.
Having approved a total of 587 initiation schools across all districts in Limpopo, the department together with its stakeholders held a workshop on their readiness for the 2023 Initiation Schools’ Season at Protea Hotel The Ranch on 7 June 2023.
The workshop had stakeholders namely, the Limpopo Department of Health, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and South African Police Service (SAPS) outlining precautions traditional leaders, traditional surgeons and headmen from approved schools to take when carrying out their respective duties this season running from 16 June 2023 to 15 July 2023.
The Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson, Hosi Pheni Ngove highlighted that Limpopo Province remains the best when coming to the practice and culture of initiation. He pleaded with principals of approved schools to ensure that parents/guardians of initiates sign consent forms prior to initiates being enrolled .
He further urged permit holders to be vigilant of parties who want to tarnish this good practice by permitting intoxicating substances (alcohol and drugs) into the schools as this may result in negligence and ultimately closing down of schools if caught.
Furthermore, Hosi Ngove reported that 57 initiation schools were not approved to operate and these schools will be monitored closely by the SAPS so as to not operate illegally.
Limpopo Department of Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba expressed that her department is readily available to deploy qualified medical doctors to assist inexperienced traditional surgeons in circumcising initiates to avoid amputations.