World Rainforest Movement

A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Industrial Tree Plantations in the KwaZulu – Natal Province of South Africa

By John Blessing Karumbidza

In the industrial tree-growing sector the primary initiative has entailed two particular strategies. One has been the establishment of out-grower schemes promoted as social or corporate responsibility or as employment creation schemes. The other has attempted to bring on board a BEE (Black economic empowerment) component into the existing asset structure of the major industrial tree-growing companies. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that these programmes have remained ‘green-washing’ projects that have failed to ameliorate the ever-increasing list of negative social, economic and environmental impacts of the industrial timber plantation sector’s activities. This report outlines these impacts by use of case study material and the voices of the affected communities from selected areas in KwaZulu-Natal.

A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Industrial Tree Plantations in the KwaZulu – Natal Province of South Africa