Thursday 2 September 2010

Darren Olivier

Contralesa on RSA's Traditional Knowledge Bill

Contralesa met recently to discuss a number of developments including South Africa's Intellectual Laws Amendment Bill (Traditional Knowledge Bill). The following was minuted according to this article in Daily Dispatch:

"1. Contralesa supports the introduction of the Bill by government because it seeks to give legal protection to indigenous knowledge systems in the same way as western systems of knowledge. [the intention is noble but the Bill has received much criticism of being unworkable and badly drafted (see links below)]

2. As custodians of African customs, cultures and traditions, traditional councils, local, provincial and national houses of traditional leaders must constitute the structures envisaged in the Bill to accredit and register traditional knowledge practitioners to regulate and arbitrate disputes and to collect and distribute funds generated from royalties paid by those who make a profit through indigenous knowledge belonging to verified communities.

3. Contralesa welcomes the fact that State departments such as Arts and Culture, Science and Technology, Water and Environmental Affairs, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are busy developing a policy which will consolidate the government’s common approach towards the development, promotion and protection of indigenous knowledge systems.

The organisation will make further submissions to Parliament to enhance the value of the Bill in the lives of rural and traditional communities."

For more on Contralesa click here. For a short history and taste of the controversy surrounding the Bill, Denise Nicholson provides good summary here and here. For more information from this blog please try the search function and traditional knowledge tag on the right hand side of the blog.

Darren Olivier

Darren Olivier

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