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Initiation Schools To Reopen Soon

Initiation schools have been unable to operate since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March. This affected many initiation schools that operate during the winter season. However, change for many hopeful initiates in the Eastern Cape.


The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has approved for initiation schools to reopen in December. Although Contralesa has given initiation schools the go-ahead, the government has not yet approved their decision. 

Contralesa Gauteng chairperson, Prince Manene Tabane said the move to level 1 was one of the reasons for allowing initiation schools to operate again. The Congress had also been receiving pressure from parents who have been eager to send their sons to initiation schools.

Contralesa president Kgosi Mathupa Mokoena said the continued suspension of initiation schools would lead to an increase in illegal schools. 

“When there are many illegal schools, we might not know their location and it would be impossible for us to monitor them to make sure there are no challenges,”

Mokoena said there will be a limit on the number of boys that initiation schools can take in. Initiation schools that do not follow the Covid-19 health and safety measures will be closed immediately. 

The deputy minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Obed Bapela said initiation schools are still not allowed to operate under lockdown level 1. 

According to Bapela, there have been many consultations with the Department of Health and provincial premiers. 

All other provinces agreed to not continue with the suspension of initiation schools but the Eastern Cape said it would go ahead.

“We don't need permission from anyone to practise our culture, but as responsible leaders, we informed our government. We've made it very strict that anyone who might not be willing to adhere to the set protocols will not be permitted to initiate.” said Mokoena.

 Tabane has urged all initiation schools to follow the correct Covid-19 health and safety protocols as Contrales will be keeping a close eye on schools operating during December. 




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