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'Take care of your sons' - Minister's plea over initiations

Gordhan appealed to parents to take responsibility for their sons when sending them to initiation schools.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan hit back at opposition arguing that their record isn't as spotless as they make it out to be. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan has appealed to parents to take responsibility for their sons when sending them to initiation schools.

Gordhan fielded questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday on the issue.

Dozens of teenage boys died during the past initiation season from among other things, botched circumcisions.

Members of Parliament questioned him about government interventions to eradicate illegally run initiation schools.

Gordhan said although the number of deaths declined from 44 in 2015 to 34 this year, more needs to be done.

"There are parent who don't take their children through pre-screening and other children go to initiation school without the consent of their parents. Some parents do not get involved throughout the initiation process."

He said government had prioritised 27 districts for improved service delivery for the year, of which 24 are rural areas.

"I've been allocated some R34 billion or R33,6 billion over this period. This is 72 percent of the total MIG allocation each year. What we are trying to show here is the bias towards developing rural areas."