Early August, the deputy minister of water and environmental affairs, Rejoice Mabudafashi, opened a R20 million medicinal plant conservation project in the Maila village, Limpopo Province.
This project entails the establishment of a nursery, laboratory, guard house, medicinal plant garden, research centre and fencing of the whole facility. This follows the community’s successful application for funding through the Social Responsibility Programme of the Department.
This programme is implemented employing the Extended Public Works Programme principles of alleviating poverty and transferring of skills.
Mabudafhasi said, “These medicinal plants are used to treat ailments such as coughs, headaches, urinary disorder, throat problems, ulcers, wounds, fever, constipation, cancer and high blood pressure.”
She said it is important to acknowledge that traditional medicinal practitioners/healers are among the most knowledgeable people about medicinal plants in local communities.
“They have much to offer in identifying local conservation issues and the development of improved systems for managing medicinal plants.”