The IFP has re-iterated its call that all initiation schools should be verified and licensed to safely carry out both circumcision and initiation, as summer circumcision season starts next week in the Eastern Cape.
IFP spokesperson on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Peter Smith (MP) said “Thousands of boys are expected to undergo this ritual to become men next week. It is imperative for the departments of health, cooperative governance and the house of Traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape to make sure that there are contingent plans in place to curb initiate deaths and injuries. During the winter initiation season, 39 boys died; we don’t want to experience this again.”
He said that if current practise has become harmful, it should be modernised. Traditional leaders, as custodians of culture and custom, must play a role in leading these changes.
“Areas where more deaths took place should be monitored in order to dispatch medical teams if necessary” concluded Smith.
The IFP stated that it would like to encourage communities to report anyone recruiting boys for circumcision without parental consent. In addition, initiates must know which initiation schools are sanctioned by the government and educational awareness campaigns must be put in place in our rural communities.
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