The pay-out is the first payment as part of a benefit-sharing agreement signed in 2019. The 2019 agreement will result in the indigenous communities sharing in the profits of the rooibos industry, which benefits from the communities’ traditional knowledge and the commercial use of the plant. The 2019 agreement serves as an important acknowledgement of the Khoi and San communities’ knowledge of the nutritional and health benefits of the rooibos bush.
In terms of the agreement, a benefit sharing levy of 1.5% of the farm gate will be paid out into a trust for the benefit of the Khoi and San communities annually. This is estimated at R12 million a year. The use of the funds will be independently decided by the National Khoi and San and South African San councils.
Rooibos tea, which is regarded as an important economic resource in South Africa, remains popular both locally and internationally. In 2014, rooibos tea was granted geographical indication status in the EU, the first product produced in Africa to achieve this status. The term ‘rooibos’ can only be used to refer to plants or products derived from plants that are grown in designated municipalities of the Western and Northern Cape around the Cedarburg.
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