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University of Venda (2018)

An exploration into the Utilisation of Indigenous Knowledge by Medicinal Plant Vendors as a Livelihood Strategy in Thohoyandou, Vhembe District of Limpopo, South Africa

Mhlanga, Sibusisiwe

Titre : An exploration into the Utilisation of Indigenous Knowledge by Medicinal Plant Vendors as a Livelihood Strategy in Thohoyandou, Vhembe District of Limpopo, South Africa

Auteur : Mhlanga, Sibusisiwe

Université de soutenance : University of Venda

Grade : Master of African Studies 2018

Résumé
Medicinal plants are now used as a livelihood activity by the marginalized urban poor communities in various places around the world. Indigenous knowledge in medicinal plants is owned and practiced by the knowledge holders for different purposes. It entails the passing of skills and knowledge from one generation to the other within a specific geographical area. Vhembe district is well known to be rich in plants and the people own the rich knowledge in medicinal plants. However, much debate has emerged around the effectiveness of indigenous knowledge in alleviating poverty levels amongst the communities. Despite the wealth and abundance of indigenous knowledge in medicinal plants, Limpopo Province is still rated as one of the poorest provinces in South Africa. Consequently, this study sought to investigate the utilization of indigenous knowledge by medicinal plant vendors in Thohoyandou, Vhembe District. The study has used the qualitative research approach by means of an interview schedule and semi-structured interviews to collect data from a sample of 10 respondents, who were selected using the purposive and snowballing non-probability sampling techniques. The data collected was analyzed thematically. The findings in this study revealed that the sale of medicinal plants by vendors is a source of employment done mostly by men than women who have been engaged in this form of street trading for more than 23 years. The CBD in Thohoyandou is deemed preferably by the medicinal plant vendors as it is busy and attracts more customers. Although the medicinal plant vendors make a living out of selling their practice, they are not fully supported by key stakeholders. The research therefore concluded that the use of indigenous knowledge by medicinal plant vendors has an important role to play in creating employment for indigenous knowledge holders and as such should be invested in. The study recommends that key stakeholders such as the municipality, private companies, business support groups and the government should take the initiative to upgrade, develop and invest in indigenous knowledge v holders of medicinal plants to reduce unemployment in the province and avoid the risk of extinction of the knowledge. Lastly, more research should be conducted on a much bigger scale

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Page publiée le 13 février 2019