Public hearings on the Customary Initiation Bill are underway in Limpopo at Moses Mabota in Fetakgomo. Parliament’s Co-operative and Traditional Affairs Committee is conducting the hearings nationwide.
The Bill seeks to regulate traditional initiation schools. It is also in response to the deaths of initiates in cases which customary practices are abused.
The committee has already held hearings in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, the Free State, Northern Cape and North West.
The Bill states that existing national and provincial legislation on initiation only deal with aspects of male circumcision leading to the limitation in the application of such laws.
It will be at Moses Mabota in Fetakgomo on Monday then move to Kwamhlanga in Mpumalanga on Tuesday. The hearings will end in Gauteng in the Sedibeng region on Wednesday.
Committee chair Richard Mdakane says he wants to reassure traditional leaders that the Bill is not intended to usurp custodianship of traditional initiation.
He says the authority of chiefs is guaranteed in the constitution and the intention of the proposed legislation is aimed at doing something for the nation because there cannot be a culture that brings tears to the people.
However, the residents of Kuruman in the Northern Cape have questioned government’s proposal to regulate initiation schools.