DEA calls for higher Khoi and San stake in Rooibos and Honeybush industries


Communities worldwide are becoming conscious of their right to an equitable stake in valuable resources that are located within their areas.

In South Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has recommended for the Khoi and San communities to have a higher stake in the Rooibos and Honeybush tea industries, following the findings of a commissioner report.

The DEA concurs with the communities’ view that traditional knowledge rests with the communities where the species are endemic and/or with the Khoi and San people of South Africa, according to Chief director of communications for the DEA Albi Modise.

“The findings of the report imply that users (businesses and corporates) of Rooibos and Honeybush in the commercialisation phase of bioprospecting for the … drugs, industrial enzymes, food flavours, fragrances, cosmetics, emulsifiers, oleoresins, colours and extracts must complete a benefit sharing agreement with the local Khoi and San communities,” commented Modise.

There is a rich, traditional knowledge of the rooibos and honeybush species, which is being utilised commercially in the development of products such as medicines, food flavouring, cosmetics and extracts. Currently, commercial activities are regulated through the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Nemba) and the Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing Regulations (BABS Regulations).

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