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SA indigenous knowledge bill heads to parliament

South Africa’s long-awaited indigenous knowledge bill is one step closer to adoption. On 13 February the parliamentary portfolio committee gave the go-ahead for the bill to head to the National Assembly for adoption.

After adoption the only step left is for the president to sign it into law. No date has yet been set for the bill’s appearance in parliament. The committee reviewed amendments to the bill by the National Council of Provinces, which it said were “largely technical and not substantive” in nature.

While the bill will come into force on signing, the day-to-day ramifications may not begin immediately. Indigenous knowledge will first have to be evaluated and registered, after which the terms for licences of use will be set. A curator will be appointed to head up a registration office to which trustee can apply to register indigenous knowledge.

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