DST Shines Light on Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Department of Science and Technology

The science and technology minister, Naledi Pandor, has emphasised that effective strategies need to be developed and implemented to ensure the future protection, development and management of South Africa’s indigenous knowledge systems (IKS).

The minister revealed this during a speech to the 2017 Indigenous Knowledge Systems Interface Conference in Mpumalanga.

One potential strategy is the documentation and recording of IKS.

The minister mentioned the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill, currently before the portfolio committee on science and technology.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2016.

The proposed legislation aims to provide for:

•    the protection, promotion, development and management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS);
•    the setting up and functions of the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office;
•    the management of rights of indigenous knowledge holders;
•    the establishment and functions of the Advisory Panel on IKS;
•    access and conditions of access to knowledge of indigenous and local communities;
•    the registration, accreditation and certification of indigenous knowledge practitioners; and
•    the facilitation and coordination of indigenous knowledge systems-based innovation.

The minister stressed that IKS offers an “opportunity to explore avenues for innovation and commercialisation in order to contribute towards addressing the triple challenges we face of unemployment, inequality, and poverty.”

In a statement, the science and technology department highlighted the request by the minister for the older generation to pass indigenous knowledge onto the youth.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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