Community forestry and rural livelihoods : a case study of the contribution of natural resources to livelihoods of rural communities in the Northern Province, South Africa

Masutha, Takalani (Takalani Henry) (2002-03)

Thesis (MScFor)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Government of South Africa is faced with a mammoth task of redressing the imbalances of the past apartheid policies in the rural areas of the country. The Government has developed policies and programmes aimed at alleviating poverty in these areas. The Government has also realised the vital role that natural resources play in the livelihoods of rural people. The vision of Community Forestry as stated in the Forestry White Paper (GOSA, 1996), is to contribute to social and economic upliftment of all people, especially those in the rural areas, by promoting the sustainable utilisation of natural resources. The study was conducted in three rural villages in the Northern Province of South Africa. The three villages were chosen because of their closeness to the Kruger National Park, their remoteness and lack of infrastructure that could provide employment to the villagers. The villages were investigated using Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques and semi structured interviews with households and key-informants. The study reports on the pattern and structure of livelihoods and institutions that govern access to and control of natural resources in the woodlands that surround the three villages. It reports on the vital contribution that natural resources generate to livelihoods of the village communities by providing goods for fuel, shelter, food and medicines which are unavailable or unaffordable elsewhere for many households. The study also reports on the decline in the dependency of the communities on natural resources and the lack of cooperation between village communities and the Kruger National Park authorities, which may lead to serious management problems in the area. Lastly, recommendations based on the study findings, that may bring about possible economic and social upliftment of the communities in the three villages are put forward.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid Afrikaanse Regering staan voor die reuse taak om ongelykhede wat in die verlede onder die apartheids beleid in die landelike gebiede van die land tot stand gekom het, te herstel. Die huidige Regering het 'n beleids en programstelsel ontwikkel met die doelom armoede in die gebiede te verlig. Verder het 'n besef ontwikkel van die integrale rol wat natuurlike hulpbronne in die lewensonderhoud van mense uit landelike gebiede speel. Die visie van gemeenskaps bosbou, soos uiteengesit in die Forestry White Paper (GO SA, 1996), is om deur middel van die bevordering van volhoubare gebruik van natuurlike hulpbronne, 'n bydrae te lewer tot die sosiale en ekonomiese opheffing van alle mense, maar spesifiek die in landelike gebiede. Die studie is uitgevoer in drie landelike dorpies in die Noordelike Provinsie van Suid-Afrika. Die spesifieke dorpies is gekies a.g.v. beide hulle nabyheid aan die Nasionale Kruger Wildtuin sowel as hul afsondering en tekort aan infrastruktuur, wat werksgelenthede aan die inwoners kan verskaf. Die dorpies is bestudeer m.b.v. die Rapid Rural Appraisal tegniek en semigestruktureerde onderhoude met huishoudings en sleutel-informante. Deur middel van die studie word verslag gelewer op die lewensonderhouds patroon en strukture van huishoudings, sowel as die instellings wat toegang tot en gebruik van natuurlike hulpbronne beheer in die boslande rondom die drie dorpies. Dit dui die lewensbelangrike ondersteuning wat natuurlike hulpbronne aan huishoudings in die gemeenskap verskaf aan. Die ondersteuning word gevind in die vorm van materiaal vir vuurmaakhout, skuiling, kos en medisyne wat elders onbeskikbaar of onbekostigbaar is vir baie huishoudings. Verder word verslag gelewer oor die dalende afhanklikheid van gemeenskappe van hierdie natuurlike hulpbronne en die tekort aan samewerking tussen dorpsgemeenskappe en die bestuur van die Nasional Kruger Wildtuin. Dit mag wel tot bestuursprobleme in die nabye toekoms lei. Laastens word voorstelle, gebaseer op die bevindinge soos bespreek in die studie, gemaak wat mag lei tot die moontlike sosiale en ekonomiese opheffing van die gemeenskappe in die drie dorpies.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52738
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