In 2019, a landmark agreement between traditional knowledge holders who are also small-scale farmers of Khoi and San descent, and the rooibos tea industry was reached.
This benefit-sharing agreement would see a small percentage of the profits made from rooibos and honeybush tea find its way to the hands of small-scale farmers.
On the commemoration of the international day of tea, we hear from National Khoi and San Council Chairman Cecil LeFleur, who will give us an update on how COVID-19 has affected the rolling out of the agreement.
In October 2020, a group of people representing different Khoi and San Tribes gathered at the foot of Table Mountain in South Africa. There they have created a cultural space where they will stay for an indefinite period of time in an effort to reclaim the mountain. With the temporary huts providing a little shelter, and fire providing a little warmth, they are making it known that the mountain and the area surrounding it had once belonged to their ancestors. Bradley van Sitters is among the folks camped out at the foot of the mountain.
In South Africa, in November 2019, a small but significant victory has been achieved when a benefit sharing agreement was reached with the Indigenous People of South Africa. The Khoi and San people will now benefit from the multi-million rand Rooibos tea and Honeybush industries.
Only 2% of the farmers who grow the tea are from Indigenous communities.
National KhoiSan Council chairman Cecil LeFleur talks to Indigenous Rights Radio.
Producer: Shaldon Ferris
Music: Yarina, Lights in the Forrest, used with permission.
Indigenous South Africans go on a yearly 400 mile pilgrimage to bring awareness to ongoing violations of basic human rights of South Africans, the withholding of remains and sacred items belonging to Indigenous communities by museums, as well as to reconnect to the earth and environment through the rigorous journey from coast to coast. We spoke to two South African Indigenous rights activists to hear their takes on how this tradition has shaped their activism.