This book provides a critical overview of South Africa’s legal regime with a view to investigating its ability to stem the tide of biopiracy involving indigenous knowledge.

Against this backdrop, two case studies are discussed from the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. In this province, the vast majority of inhabitants rely on traditional medicine for their health care and cultural requirements.


Misaki M Koyama is a research and campaigner with the African Centre for Biosafety. Mariam Mayet is the founder and Director of the ACB.


  • Introduction Section One: Background and overview of key issues Section
  • Two: Legal Framework in South Africa: details and shortcomings Section
  • Three: Case Study 1: Indigenous knowledge and the Pelargonium patents
  • Case Study 2: Bioprospecting and research institutions
  • Conclusion Annexure A: Applicable international treaties and key national South African legislation affecting Indigenous knowledge and bioprospecting
  • Annexure B: The Schwabe Group References Price: R50 per copy, including postage.