Forestry South Africa represents 11 corporate forestry companies, 1 100 commercial timber farmers and 20 000 small-scale growers who collectively control 93% of the country’s total plantation area of 1,2-million hectares.
Indigenous forests cover 500 000 hectares, or 0,4% of South Africa’s land cover.
Commercial forests account for 1% of South Africa’s land cover.
20% of South Africa’s commercial forests are in KZN and 50% are in Mpumalanga.
Timber plantations are not irrigated but use 3% of the country’s available water. Mining uses 3%. Industry uses 3%. Power generation uses 2%. Agriculture uses 60%. Domestic consumption accounts for 29%.
SA timber farms are mainly made up of pine, eucalyptus and wattle.
South Africa’s forest Industry is responsible for 9,8% of the country’s agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 4,9% of South Africa’s manufacturing GDP.
Forestry products have an export value of over R38,4-billion.
The sector employs more than 149 000 people and supports over 500 000 South Africans.
30% of forestry-owned land remains unplanted which, when well-managed, allows for the conservation of natural ecosystems covering 300 000 hectares.