At the recent Women Indaba conference in the Northern Cape, a leading Khoisan activist told workshop on ‘women in the construction industry’ that it was her mission to re-introduce traditional building techniques involving cannabis.
The conference on “"accelerating socio-economic opportunities for women empowerment" was held in Kimberley during the weekend of 21 and 22 August 2023 by the Department of Human Settlements and was attended by hundreds of women.
The Sowetan reported that the High commissioner of the Griqua Aboriginal, Rosemary Rodrigues, said she stayed true to her culture of strong women by going back to how the KhoiSan women used to build their homes.
“Dagga reeds were used to build Khoisan homes and they used that as it was one of the strongest materials accessible to them. We want to bring that technique back and we have signed an agreement with a university in Italy which will help with development of hemp blocks.
Hemp is a cannabis plant grown for its fibre, which is used in textiles and construction” said Roerigues. She said Griqua Aboriginal would be working with an as-yet unnamed Italian company in developing hempcrete blocks.
“We will be working very close with the Italians to manufacture these blocks for building homes as they are sustainable and strong. They don’t burn while they keep the building cool” she said.