Wednesday, 26 September 2012

RSA - TK legislation given a reprieve

NHTD Chairperson:
Kgosi Maubane
The controversial traditional knowledge legislation waiting for a final signature from RSA's President Zuma before becoming law has been sent packing according to a recent Democratic Alliance (DA) press release. The Bill has been referred back to the Portfolio Committee because it had not been approved by the House of Traditional Leaders.

The National House of Traditional Leaders recently delayed its annual official opening until further notice, which could mean that we have to wait some time before the final draft legislation gets their comment. It may well be quicker for proponents to sneak the Bill into the next nuptial papers of the President, says Afro Leo noting that Zuma's presidency comes under the spotlight at election time next year.

The DA also believes that this move will create an opportunity for them to oppose the legislation again by voicing many of the concerns raised by academics and commentators about the viability of the Bill. Readers will recall a poll on Afro-IP last year that revealed that out of 55 participants not a single vote went in favour of the proposed Bill, many preferring a separate stand-alone piece of legislation rather than amendments to existing IP laws. Prof Dean, the most outspoken critic, even went so far as to draft alternate legislation - see Afro-IP post here.

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