Minister Creecy to launch rooibos access and benefit-sharing agreement at !Khwa Ttu, Yzerfontein, Western Cape On 1 November 2019

31 October 2019

The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, will on 1 November launch the industry-wide benefit-sharing agreement (BSA) for traditional knowledge associated with Rooibos at Yzerfontein in the Western Cape.

The parties to the agreement are Khoi-Khoi and San communities, and the Rooibos Industry. The agreement will be signed by the Minister, the National Khoi-san Council, the San Council of South Africa and the South African Rooibos Council at the !Khwa Ttu San Culture and Education Centre.

In 2011, the department was approached by the South African San Council on behalf of the San people of South Africa, expressing concerns about inadequate acknowledgment, recognition, and protection of their interest in relation to the ownership of traditional knowledge associated with the rooibos and honeybush species which are being used commercially.

A subsequent consultative study concluded in 2015 found that the San and Khoi-Khoi hold the traditional knowledge for rooibos and honeybush.

Rooibos is being utilised commercially in the development of products such as medicines, food flavourings, cosmetics and extracts. These commercial activities are regulated through the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA) and the Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing Regulations, 2008 (BABS Regulations). The legislation is further supported by the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefit Arising from their Utilization under the Convention on Biological Diversity, to which South Africa became a party in 2013.

The outcome of the probe meant that as the rightful owners of these rights, these communities would receive benefits from the commercial utilisation of species in the development of new products such as tea, medicines, food flavourings and cosmetics in terms of NEMBA and the BABS Regulations.

In terms of the agreement being signed on 1 November, the Khoi-Khoi and San communities will receive benefits based on a percentage derived from the annual production of Rooibos materials. The Parties have agreed to explore non-monetary benefits after the pilot phase.

Media are invited to attend.

Details are as follows:

Date:  1 November 2019
Time:  08:00 to 12:00 
Venue: !Khwa Ttu San Cultural and Education Centre, Grootwater Farm, R27, Yzerfontein, Western Cape

To RSVP contact:

Gaopalelwe Moroane
Tel: 021 814 8060
Cell: 082 512 1094

Eleanor Momberg
Cell: 083 400 5741

For media inquiries contact:
Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871