Summary – CIB

To provide for the effective regulation of customary initiation practices; to provide for the establishment of a National Initiation Oversight Committee and Provincial Initiation Coordinating Committees and their functions; to provide for the responsibilities, roles and functions of the various role-players involved in initiation practices as such or in the governance aspects thereof; to provide for the effective regulation of initiation schools; to provide for regulatory powers of the Minister and Premiers; to provide for the monitoring of the implementation of this Act; to provide for provincial peculiarities; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

WHEREAS the Constitution recognises—
● the right to life;
● the right to bodily and psychological integrity;
● the rights of persons to enjoy their culture;
● the rights of persons to form, join and maintain cultural associations; and
● the rights of children to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or

AND WHEREAS customary initiation is practiced by many communities in South Africa as a sacred and respected practice, and in some instances is regarded as a rite of passage to adulthood;

AND WHEREAS initiation is an embodiment of ideals, values and aspirations of both the individual and the community, reflected in the transfer of teachings about culture, tradition and respect (especially for women and the elderly);

● the customary practice of initiation has been subject to abuse which in many instances
has resulted in serious injuries to, and even the death of, initiates;
● initiation schools have not been effectively regulated;
● existing relevant laws only deal with certain aspects of initiation and not with
initiation in general; and
● some initiation schools operate for personal financial gain only with little or no concern for the well-being of initiates;

● government has a duty to protect the lives of initiates;
● government has a duty to set norms and standards within which the customary practice of initiation must take place;
● all role-players involved in initiation must be accountable for their respective
responsibilities, duties, roles and functions;
● the customary practice of initiation must, where necessary, be transformed to reflect the Constitutional principles, especially the principles contained in the Bill of Rights; and
● all role-players have an obligation to restore the integrity and legitimacy of the customary practice of initiation;

AND WHEREAS the Constitution provides that national or provincial legislation may provide for cultural matters,