By: Hon. MJ Mazibuko on behalf of Hon. Princess Phumzile Buthelezi; IFP MPL
KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Pietermaritzburg
Hon. Speaker and Hon. Members.
The IFP welcomes the Bill before this House, whose primary objective is to protect knowledge of indigenous communities from unauthorised use, misappropriation and misuse, and to regulate the fair and equitable distribution of benefits from its commercial use and to provide mechanisms for their accreditation.
The Bill “attempts to address issues of redress and transformation within the nation, (and) it is also a powerful tool for national identity and social cohesion.”
1994, as we know, set South Africa on journey towards the consummation of restoration and putting together what colonialism and apartheid had put as under. The Bill is therefore one of the steps that are meant to ensure the restoration of indigenous ways of life; our knowledge systems, beliefs and practices. It will play a very significant role to protect ordinary people who, in some cases, have fallen prey to unscrupulous vultures who use their indigenous knowledge and expertise to enrich themselves.
The Bill will also ensure that indigenous knowledge systems are afforded proper recognition and respect they deserve as well as their proper preservation.
We hope that the government will meticulously pursue the implementation of this Bill without fear or favour. It will be very important for government to ensure that our people are educated on the rights that this Bill affords them. In addition, government will have to provide them with technical and other forms of support so that they are empowered to take advantage of the provisions of this Bill.
As the IFP we shall do our utmost to ensure that the objectives of this Bill are realised.
Salute to Women
In conclusion, the IFP is mindful that today’s debate takes place at the beginning of a month during which our country celebrates women for who they are, what they are and their contributions. The IFP joins all sane South Africans in saluting all women of our country. May they continue to move forward to claim their rightful positions in the affairs of our country.
I thank you