Limpopo communities get royalties for non-carb sweetener

2015-06-23 14:41


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Polokwane - Two Limpopo communities are set to receive a combined R2.6m for helping with the development of a non-carbohydrate sweetener.

Schlerochiton ilicifolius, the scientific name of a local plant known as Molomo monate, is one of the plants researched by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research over the past 27 years and turned into a consumable product.

The investigation by the CSIR found that the indigenous plant was 1 400 times sweeter than regular sugar.

CSIR Research and Development Outcomes manager for biosciences, Tshidi Moroka, said the communities of Shongoane and Seleka, north-west of Polokwane in Limpopo, participated in the project and were eligible for royalties.

The CSIR scientists investigated the properties of the indigenous Molomo monate (loosely translated as “nice mouth” in Sotho) by extracting and characterising a non-carbohydrate sweetener.

Moroka said the payment would be made to the National Bioprospecting Trust Fund, and from there disbursed to the communities.

“Based on an analysis of the CSIR’s historical milestone and royalty income streams, and taking into consideration directly attributable costs in generating such income, and in negotiations with the communities and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), it was agreed that an amount of R2.6m will be paid to the indigenous knowledge holders,” says Moroka.

The CSIR, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Technifin (Pty) Ltd., signed a licence agreement with multinational company Cargill in 2004 and received milestone payments in 2004, 2006 and 2013, which can now be shared with the identified communities.

In 2008, after the bioprospecting and benefit-sharing regulations were promulgated, the CSIR applied for a bioprospecting permit for Molomo monate, which was granted in 2012. This was one of the first such permits to be granted in South Africa.

“The two communities of Shongoane and Seleka, with whom the benefit-sharing agreement was concluded, were identified through the above process and, with the assistance of the DEA, that agreement was gazetted in the Government Gazette. All benefits will be paid into the National Bioprospecting Trust Fund, which will manage further distribution,” says Moroka.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  conservation  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.