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Parliament Calls for Comment on IKS Bill

December 1, 2016

Department of Science and Technology

The portfolio committee on science and technology has called for comment on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill.

The bill was published for comment in March 2015 and tabled in parliament in April 2016.

In June, the committee referred the bill to the National House of Traditional Leaders for comment.

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.

In a statement issued in 2014, the science and technology department emphasised that the draft bill sought to protect, promote, develop and manage IKS by means of sui generis legislation.

The department declared that the proposed legislation is expected to “pave the way for the protection of the vast treasure of South Africa’s indigenous knowledge, including local products like the well-known honeybush tea”.

Written comment on the bill is invited until 15 December 2016.