The signing of the Honeybush Rooibos and Honeybush Traditional Knowledge Benefit Sharing Agreement between industry and the Khoi and San communities sets the benchmark for future similar agreements, said Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Barbara Creecy. The Department had played a key role in the negotiation process which started nine years ago and concluded in March this year.
The agreement was signed by the Minister, the chairperson of the National Khoi-san Council, Cecil Le Fleur, the chairperson of the San Council of South Africa, Collin Louw, and the chairperson of the South African Rooibos Council, Martin Berg.
A research project, led by the Department, had concluded that the Khoi and San communities were the traditional knowledge holders for rooibos and honeybush. This entitled them to benefit financially from the commercial use of the plants, most commonly used as tea.
Rooibos has also become known worldwide as a proudly South African product and brand.