INITIATION in Limpopo started in earnest on Friday, with the province accrediting 314 schools while only 23 applications were disapproved.
The province had received 337 applications for the operation of initiation schools.
Provincial authorities said they were satisfied that successful applicants were operating within the required legislation governing initiation schools.
In Limpopo, only chiefs are allowed to be permit holders of initiation schools. Anyone other than a chief is not allowed to operate an initiation school.
Only boys aged 12 and above, with parental consent, are allowed to enter initiation school.
Provincial deputy chairman of the House of Traditional Leaders Hosi Eric Chauke said yesterday that a committee was currently investigating reasons why the 23 were not granted permission to operate.
"It is not yet clear as to why the 23 applications were disapproved but the matter is under investigation. We hope to have completed our investigations by Thursday," said Chauke.
According to Chauke, Capricorn has 57 schools, Sekhukhune 96, Vhembe 25, Mopani 83 and Waterberg 53. He said Mopani had six applications disapproved and Sekhukhune 17.
"We are sending members of the sub-committee to the districts on fact-finding missions to establish the reasons for the disapprovals," he said.
He said they were working with the provincial department of health and police to ensure that the schools operated within legal limits and that there were no deaths.
"We will mete out harsh sentences to anyone found operating an initiation school without a proper permit," Chauke said.
All the schools are scheduled to finish their business in mid-July to ensure that initiates are ready to return to class when schools re-open on July 16.
The province recorded two deaths during last year's initiations.
The authorities have vowed to avoid any deaths this year.