The North West Provincial Government has acknowledged that its communities have rich indigenous Knowledge systems which must be protected, preserved, promoted and transferred to the future generations.
Speaking on behalf of the North West Premier, Thandi Modise at the launch of the Indigenous Knowledge Recording System held at Moruleng Stadium, Finance MEC, Paul Sebegoe said the province has colourful and rich indigenous knowledge systems which must be documented for the sake of future generations.
“We must admit all of us that the North West province has got a lot of history especially when it comes to our culture and heritage that was not recorded properly by the past generations.
We have a lot to offer to the country and the entire world about who we are and where we come from by telling all the stories of our culture and heritage through our documented and recorded indigenous knowledge’s from our different communities,” MEC Sebago said.
The National Recording System (NRS) was established in response to the South African’s Indigenous Knowledge System policy adopted by cabinet in 2004.
Its aimed at protecting, preserving, promoting and responsibly exploiting indigenous knowledge system in the country.
According to Riette Pretorius, Project Manager at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research NIKMAS is a secure Multimedia Digital Respiratory that supports the NRS processes.
It includes Indigenous knowledge holder cataloguing, recording, verification, classification and Authentication.
It is unique in that it records African IK in its original oral format, links it to complex metadata schema and provides the necessary mechanisms for both positive and defensive protection.
It is a first of its kind internationally and to be launched in Moruleng Village.
In welcoming the initiative, MEC Sebegoe said that it as a step forward restore and preserving the indigenous systems in the country.
He urged the people of the North West to appreciate and take part in preserving the culture and heritage of the country.
Launching the project, the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom raised a concern that indigenous Knowledge in the country is only in the form of words.
He said the people of South Africa must participate in ensuring that our indigenous knowledge remains recorded and documented by using the new initiative.
“Unlike many cultures whose history has been documented, South Africa’s rich and colourful indigenous knowledge relies on spoken words, a tradition carried over from generation to generation for millennia.
As a country becomes more sophisticated and urbanized much of this IK is lost, misappropriate or misused,” he said.
The Minister highlighted that the urgency of documenting indigenous knowledge in the South Africa is underscored by the fact that the country is losing its respected elders.
“When an old person dies in Africa, a whole library disappears. Young people must often document information from older people in their respect community to ensure that the knowledge that they possess does not fade away,” he said.
The traditional leader of Bakgatla-Ba- Kgafela Traditional Council in Moruleng, Kgosi Nyalala Pilane said they are committed to ensure that their shared cultural heritage, tradition and value systems are upheld for the benefit of current and future generations.
“Our vision is a model of economically viable community that espouses and retains values of Botho,” he said.