Commenced in January 2007
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Prospects for Sustainable Chemistry in South Africa: A Plural Healthcare System

Authors: Ntokozo C. Mthembu


The notion of sustainable chemistry has become significant in the discourse for a global post-colonial era, including South Africa, especially when it comes to access to the general health system and related policies in relation to disease or ease of human life. In view of the stubborn vestiges of coloniality in the daily lives of indigenous African people in general, the fundamentals of present Western medical and traditional medicine systems and related policies in the democratic era were examined in this study. The situation of traditional healers in relation to current policy was also reviewed. The advent of democracy in South Africa brought about a variety of development opportunities and limitations, particularly with respect to indigenous African knowledge systems such as traditional medicine. There were high hopes that the limitations of previous narrow cultural perspectives would be rectified in the democratic era through development interventions, but some sections of society, such as traditional healers, remain marginalised. The Afrocentric perspective was explored in dissecting government interventions related to traditional medicine. This article highlights that multiple medical systems should be adopted and that health policies should be aligned in order to guarantee mutual respect and to address the remnants of colonialism in South Africa, Africa and the broader global community.

Keywords: Traditional healing system, healers, pluralist healthcare system, post-colonial era.

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