No-one harmed in WC initiations, however, more funding needed

By Ricardo Mackenzie MPP, Western Cape Spokesperson on Cultural Affairs and Sport:

The Western Cape saw the initiation season pass without harm to initiates, according to the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport 2014/15 Annual Report, as discussed in the Standing Committee today.

I call on Minister Anroux Marais to find ways to broaden access to funding. Despite the success, there is a need for greater reach on the part of the councils that facilitate the preservation on cultural practice in the Western Cape.

The Department spent around R 500 000 on the consultations with over 200 traditional leaders in the last financial year. The consultations took place to ensure that initiation practice was done in a way that is safe while preserving this practice.

The Western Cape Initiation framework protects, promotes and preserves arts, culture and heritage in the Western Cape. It provides guidance on the cultural practice of initiation to local cultural organisations, municipalities and other authorities.

30 Initiation forums were supported, which resulted in the expansion of the rite of passage programme implemented in the department. Through this programme we have created standards for the practice and created uniformity in the execution of this traditional practice. This programme is premised on a three-tier model whereby the Province, community and municipalities are key stakeholders.

The DA in the Western Cape welcomes this result in the wake of regular consultations with Western Cape Government. It is of utmost importance that the safety of initiates remain a priority.