Residents of Kuruman in the Northern Cape have questioned government’s proposal to regulate initiation schools. They believe initiations are a sacred custom that needs to be respected and left to traditional leaders to deal with.

They raised their views at the fifth public hearing on the proposed Customary Initiation Bill.

The bill is proposing that initiation practitioners be registered and be 40 years or older.  “We do not want to include modern ways to our circumcision tradition and we don’t want our customs to be written as there is no handbook guide to initiation,” says a resident Kgorosane Mpuru.

The bill further proposes that medical doctors and nurses be involved in the initiation process. This will help curb anticipated deaths associated with initiations.

“I do not agree with nurses or doctors at our initiation schools because some of them will claim that they have been initiated when they are not and that would be disrespectful to our culture,” says a resident Nora Selebalo.

The portfolio Committee has praised the public hearings as a learning experience.

“The entire society must get involved in this. This is our culture and we love it and we must practice in a manner that assist us as a society and doesn’t cause problems,” says Portfolio Committee Chairperson,  Richard Mdakane.

The committee is expected to wrap up the hearings in Mpumalanga next week Tuesday.

They will then meet with tribal chiefs before tabling it in Parliament.