The South African forest industry, which includes forestry and forest products, employs over 158,000 people. As an industry, we are committed to ensuring all staff members receive job-specific training and opportunities that will enable them to progress in the sector.
When it comes to our human legacy, we not only focus on those in our employment but acknowledge that many more South Africans are indirectly dependent on the forest industry. Well over half a million people across the country benefit indirectly, and we want to help improve their lives too. The forest industry has invested millions of Rands in various outreach programmes, such as educational and environmental initiatives, social development schemes and training in forestry skills that will contribute to the upliftment of these communities.
Our timber plantations and conservation areas provide a valuable recreational resource, allowing people to access to nature and enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle. There are numerous hiking routes, mountain bike trails and natural attractions on forestry land; many of these are maintained and actively promoted by the forest sector. We are also looking to the future, developing new attractions like trail running routes, as well as developing adventure hikes and extending mountain bike trails that add to the suite of recreational activities forestry has to offer.