Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill to Better Protect Intellectual Property Rights

Department of Science and Technology

Intellectual property rights related to South Africa's valuable indigenous knowledge systems will be better protected through the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill.

The science and technology minister, Naledi Pandor, declared this while delivering her department’s budget vote speech in parliament.

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 added that the proposed legislation “should facilitate economic growth and spin-offs resulting from the application of such knowledge.”

The minister also announced that:

•    the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will support 50 students through the Data Science Skills Development programme;
•    CSIR will award a regional Tier Two data node and a national teaching and training platform for e-skills to two consortia of universities and research institutions next month – to assist with implementation of the National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System;
•    the addition of a new laser source has enabled the Aerosud-CSIR team to develop solutions to the main technical challenges that were identified during the 2015/16 financial year – Project Aeroswift; and
•    a commercialization strategy for Aeroswift will be developed – local manufacturing opportunities in the aerospace, automotive, medical and dental sectors.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

Related legislation: