Thes-economic impact of the phasing out of plantations in the Western and Southern Cape regions of South Africa : a case study of three plantations.

De Beer, Margareta Caterine (2012-03)

Thesis (MScFor)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study sought to determine the possible socio-economic impacts of the phasing out of nearly 22 500 ha of plantations within the Southern and Western Cape regions of South Africa as a result of a decision made by Government in September 2000. None of the previous studies undertaken focussed on the socio-economic impacts within the specific regions and plantations, but were based on wider environmental and economic considerations. Data was collected in 2007 from three plantations managed by Mountain to Ocean Forestry (MTO) (PTY) LTD: one located in Grabouw (Western Cape) and two in George (Southern Cape), among three different plantation stakeholder groups. These three groups were: (i) Forest Dependent Communities, (ii) Stakeholders among the forestry value chain and (iii) Indirect stakeholders. Within the first group, a total of 70 persons representing households were interviewed. A total of 26 primary and secondary processing company respondents were interviewed. Information on all of the indirect stakeholder groups was gathered, either through interviews with the stakeholders or from data received from MTO. This study indicated that there are significant differences between the potential impacts within the Southern Cape and Western Cape regions. The data collected showed that among communities within the Western Cape, the dependency on the plantations in terms of employment, income and fuelwood is low. This is in stark contrast to the communities within the Southern Cape, who are dependent on the plantations for their employment and income, and as a result will be affected greatly by the phasing out process. Company respondents in the Western Cape were less concerned than their Southern Cape counterparts about the future decrease in timber supply and indicated that they will source timber from elsewhere, whereas companies within the Southern Cape indicated that they would likely have to shut down. The dependency of indirect stakeholders on the plantations to be phased out, and the resulting impact was found to be minimal. The study concluded with an evaluation of an existing nine step plan for the implementation of social and economic actions within natural resource planning. Three main aspects were identified that need to be addressed namely: (i) To increase public awareness and participation among communities and companies to be impacted on by the phasing out process, (ii) Provide necessary training and thus increased skills level of workers who face unemployment; and (iii) The identification of alternative employment opportunities for the unemployed affected by the phasing out process.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het die potensiële sosio-ekonomiese impak van die uitfasering van plantasies in die Suid- en Wes-Kaap gebiede van Suid-Afrika ondersoek. Die besluit om 22 500 ha plantasies uit te faseer is in September 2000 deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Regering geneem. Geen vorige studies wat onderneem is het gefokus op die moontlike sosio-ekonomiese impakte in die spesifieke gebiede en plantasies nie, maar was gebaseer op groter omgewings- en ekonomiese oorwegings. Data insameling het in 2007 geskied in drie Mountain to Ocean Forestry (MTO) plantasies: een geleë in Grabouw (Wes-Kaap) en twee in George (Suid-Kaap), en onder drie verskillende plantasie belangegroepe. Hierdie drie groepe was (i) Gemeenskappe afhanklik van plantasies; (ii) Belangegroepe in die Bosbou-waardeketting en; (iii) Indirekte belangegroepe. ‘n Totaal van 70 huishoudings in die eerste groep is ondervra, en 26 primêre en sekondêre verwerkingsmaatskappye in die tweede groep is ondervra. Inligting oor al die indirekte belangegroepe is ingesamel, hetsy deur middel van onderhoude of deur data wat van MTO ontvang is. Die studie het aangedui dat daar betekenisvolle verskille tussen die potensiële impakte binne die Suid-Kaap en Wes-Kaap streke bestaan. Die versamelde data het getoon dat die afhanklikheid van gemeenskappe in die Wes-Kaap op die plantasies in terme van werk, inkomste en brandhout laag is. Dit is in skrille kontras met die gemeenskappe in die Suid-Kaap, wat afhanklik is van die plantasies vir hul werk en inkomste, en as gevolg daarvan grootliks geraak sal word deur die uitfasering proses. Maatskappy respondente in die Wes-Kaap was minder bekommerd as hulle eweknieë in die Suid- Kaap oor die toekomstige afname in die saaghoutvoorraad en het aangedui dat hulle saaghout van elders sal bekom, terwyl maatskappy respondente in die Suid-Kaap aangedui het dat hulle waarskynlik hul deure sal moet sluit. Die afhanklikheid van indirekte belanghebbendes op die plantasies wat uitgefaseer word, en die gevolglike impak blyk minimaal te wees. Die studie is afgesluit met 'n evaluering van ‘n bestaande nege stap plan vir die implementering van maatskaplike en ekonomiese kwessies in natuurlike hulpbron beplanning. Die drie belangrikste aspekte is geïdentifiseer wat aangespreek moet word naamlik: (i) Die verhoging van openbare bewustheid van en deelname tussen gemeenskappe en maatskappye wat deur die uitfasering proses geraak sal word, (ii) Die verskaffing van nodige opleiding en dus die verhoging van die vaardighede van werkers wat werkloosheid in die gesig staan; en (iii) Die identifisering van alternatiewe werksgeleenthede vir die werkloses wat deur die uitfasering proses geraak sal word.

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