Auditing the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in South Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

  • D Njiraine
  • DN Ocholla
  • J le Roux
Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, Knowledge auditing, South Africa


This paper discusses the auditing of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in South Africa, and explores IKS policies and legislations, structures, centres and systems, activities, and research trends. The study targeted the Ministries of Science and Technology and Arts and Culture; NGOs; and Research Centres. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), including individuals and documented reports. We have applied largely qualitative (that is purposive and snowball) sampling techniques for data collection through document analysis and limited interviews. Snowball sampling was used in order to link with the key subjects of the study - through direct or indirect linkages - for face-to-face interviews. Review of the literature, particularly government documents, was very useful. Preliminary results show that an IKS policy exists and that most institutions base their internal policies/guidelines on the said policy. With various stakeholders in place coordination still lacks amongst them. There are various databases representing local research activities in the country, but efforts should be made to coordinate the entire research conducted in the country.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge; Knowledge auditing, South Africa

ESARBICA Vol. 27 2008: pp. 203-222

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0376-4753