Historically, the ceremony was not carried out within the boundaries of a fenced in region, as is still the case in most parts of the Western Cape and all of the Eastern Cape.  A member of the Langa Initiation Site in Cape Town, committee who went through initiation decades ago spoke of this change.  He believes that today, initiation schools that are fenced in are needed because the local community does not have the same respect for the initiation ritual as they once did.  Litter from the community is found at the Langa site, and acts of vandalism have been committed that have now made fences necessary.   Dumping of trash has been seen at several of the proposed initiation sites, and is considered a punishable offense.  Nonetheless, this act continues to occur.  The idea that trash is dumped on an initiation site is highly upsetting to all people with whom the team spoke.  The initiation site is a sacred place that shall not be tampered with nor intruded upon, regardless of whether or not it is during an initiation season.  Fences have been constructed in part for this reason.  While thick hedges and wooden fences were considered, a concrete palisade fence was deemed more acceptable by all those with whom the city has spoken because it is harder to penetrate than a thick hedge or wooden fence, more impervious to wear and age than a wooden fence, and less likely to be stolen, or cut down (in the case of a hedge) and burned for fire wood.  Alternative forms of deterrents such as signs may also not be effective because some South Africans in Khayelitsha are not literate, and a sign with or without words may still be stolen or ignored.


All the people with whom we spoke, including provincial government officials and Langa Site Committee members have stated that though fencing may be placed, it should be designed not to keep people out, but to create the feeling of seclusion and facilitate the maintenance of a forest-like environment that any boy, regardless of when he took part in the initiation ritual, is meant to experience.  For this reason, the fencing is to be used for screening purposes, and will be bordered on the inside of the site by thick hedges, so as to provide further privacy for initiates.  A fence does serve the additional purpose of deterring people from walking through the site by making clear that the area has a designated purpose, and also protects any trees on site from being harvested for firewood. However, a fence should not have glass, barbed wire, or any other type of security device meant to keep people from leaving or entering because that is not the intent of the perimeter.