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WLFPA: Idas Valley plantation mustn’t be used for initiation in peak fire season

wlfpa idas valley plantation mustnt be used for initiation in peak fire season

CAPE TOWN – The Winelands Fire Protection Association (WLFPA) said that the Idas Valley plantation in Stellenbosch shouldn’t be used for initiation rituals in December as it was a fire hazard.

The Stellenbosch Municipality is currently in a dispute over the matter with the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa).

The municipality said that it was illegal to use the space without a permit.

But Contralesa said that it had been using the area for 26 years without any problems.

The Winelands Fire Protection Association said that it did not have a problem with an initiation school using the Idas Valley plantation but not during the December fire season.

The association acts as an advisor to the municipality and other government bodies to prevent practices or actions that could expose the environment to fires.

READ: Contralesa insists Stellenbosch land will be used as initiation site

“Just to set the record straight, we have no problem with the activity of the initiates schools, it’s just the timing of it. So, this is the peak of our fire season,” said the organisation’s manager Dale Nortje.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Contralesa chairperson, Lungelo Nokwaza, said that they had never been approached by authorities to discuss the matter.

“Let me start by saying, in the first place, they never consulted with us to discuss the matters, the reasons as to why they couldn’t allow us to do that, even the Stellenbosch Municipality we tried several times, and they ignored us completely.”

Nokwaza said that the initiation season was now in full swing and comes to an end on 1 January.

He said that they were willing to discuss the future of using the spot for the traditional rite of passage with the municipality.

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