Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Triple Heritage Initiative Seminar with Organized Civil Society
MILE in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology -National Research Foundation Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) with its hub at the University of KwaZulu-Natal hosted a IKS seminar on 31 August 2015 at the Royal Hotel in Durban. 

The Guest Speaker, Professor Muxe Nkondo expressed his views on this noble initiative which he believes will promote sustainable livelihood, development and social cohesion. 

He advised participants to take into account the community- and- cultural based nature of IKS which is in line with the National IKS Policy (2004) whose aspiration is to ensure that IKS is social capital for the poor for them to contribute to the sustainable improvement of their livelihood. He also stated that the promotion of the Triple Heritage initiative for the Municipality is the recognition that, like the rest of South Africa, the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality inherited a colonial and apartheid legacy of racial and ethnic segregation. 

Professor Hassan Kaya noted that it has been more than 20 years of democracy and contrary to the aspirations of South Africa’s constitution (1996), the Policy of Reconciliation and building a rainbow nation, the country and the Municipality is still caught up in the vulgarities of racial and ethnic differences including xenophobic practices. He reminded us the municipality has a Triple Heritage, composed of descendants from the three global regions (Africa, Asia and Europe). 

Dr Mayashree Chinasamy pointed out that there has been a very limited concerted effort to promote knowledge and awareness including sharing the unique cultural histories and diversity of this Triple Heritage of the Municipality for human understanding and social cohesion. Moreover, there has also not been an initiative to build a cadre of leadership from the diverse racial and ethnic communities committed to the promotion of the virtues of the Triple Heritage in the context of sharing their diverse Indigenous Knowledge Systems for social cohesion.

Participants contributed during the discussions, with the Khoisan Community voicing their concerns with regards to the definition of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in the context of South Africa. Most of the participants welcomed the initiative and recommended that the university should do more research, documentation and storytelling sessions to establish the “real” aspects of IKS which is inclusive, despite being a contested terrain.


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