DST Shines Light on Indigenous Knowledge

Department of Science and Technology

The science and technology minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has highlighted the development of a regulatory policy framework for the accreditation and certification of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) holders and practitioners.

The minister was addressing an international conference on indigenous knowledge in Pretoria.

Reference was made to the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill recently passed by parliament and sent to president Ramaphosa for assent.

One of the strategic focuses of the bill was the setting up of the envisaged regulatory policy framework.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2016.

The bill aims to provide for:

•    the protection, promotion, development and management of indigenous knowledge;
•    the establishment and functions of the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office;
•    the management of rights of indigenous knowledge communities;
•    the establishment and functions of the Advisory Panel on indigenous knowledge;
•    access and conditions of access to knowledge of indigenous communities;
•    the recognition of prior learning;
•    the facilitation and coordination of indigenous knowledge-based innovation; and
•    for matters incidental thereto.

The minister has urged indigenous knowledge holders to protect their knowledge from misappropriation.

According to the minister, the development of a regulatory policy framework for the accreditation and certification of IK holders and practitioners “marks a substantial step towards ensuring that IK holders' and practitioners' skills, experiences, learning and practices are legally recognized”.

Sabinet Cape Town Office