Two indigenous knowledge practitioners who were present at the workshop. Photo supplied

IK practitioners in Limpopo get their appointment letters


During a recent indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) workshop, hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the members of the pilot steering committee in Limpopo received their letters of appointment. The workshop, attended by various IK stakeholders in Limpopo, was held at the 2Ten-MGB Hotel in Sibasa on 22 April. The workshop was dubbed the recognition of prior learning (RPL) and follows the 2004 IKS policy that resulted in the IK Act of 2019.

Mr Robert Tshikwama, who is spearheading the Limpopo RPL project, said that the Kwa-Zulu Natal and North West provinces were finalising their pilots. “Here in Limpopo, we started last year where the adjudication panel - comprised of experts in different IK sectors - assessed and selected candidates to form a pilot steering committee. Today we’re handing over letters of appointment that empower them to assess their peers for competency certification. Our aim is to see all IK practitioners working and adhering to the national norms and standards in every IK sector and taking their rightful place in society. Some have rare and expert skills that, when working together with Western knowledge, could go a long way in the cure of certain diseases. Through the RPL, IK practitioners will work with authority,” he said.

Mr Wiseman Zulu from DSI said they were impressed by the adjudicators who had assisted in the selection of the steering committee. “We released a call last year, inviting practitioners to apply, so that they could be part of the committee. The adjudication panel did a sterling job in interviewing and recommending candidates. We sent the submissions to the minister, and he approved, and the appointment letters we’re giving them is to indicate they are a legitimate structure that will assist in piloting these instruments,” he said.

Maine Chressie Ramabulana hailed the initiative as a giant step by the government towards empowering IK practitioners. “Traditional healers should be accorded the stature and esteem they deserve. They should be recognised and honoured for the excellent service they render to communities,” said Ramabulana.


News - Date: 12 May 2024

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Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.