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Initiation season kicks off in the Western Cape

Cultural Affairs MEC Anroux Marais said over the years, the department had facilitated the establishment of 32 initiation forums throughout the province in all communities that observe and practice.

Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Friday marks the official start of the summer initiation season in the Western Cape and it will run until 31 January next year.

Initiation in the province is practised twice a year, in winter and summer.

Cultural Affairs MEC Anroux Marais said over the years, the department had facilitated the establishment of 32 initiation forums throughout the province in all communities that observe and practice.

Marais said in preparation for the summer season, government trained 35 traditional surgeons and more than 100 traditional carers in Health and hygiene processes as well as fire and environmental management.

Marais's spokesperson Stacy McLean said: “We want to call on parents to come on board and play their rightful part in this practice and support the efforts of the initiation forums. We urge them to prepare the boys timeously; medical screening is crucial to ensure that they’re medically fit and to prevent unnecessary deaths of our initiates.”

During the summer initiation season in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape last year, of the 34 deaths reported, 23 of the victims were from the Eastern Cape.

The majority of them died of dehydration and septicemia.