Seen as a cornerstone for development of industry within South Africa, the forestry sector is currently developing a masterplan for growth of the industry within the country.
This plan will form part of the country’s Re-invigorated Industrial Strategy, which was approved by government in June 2019, and endorsed by President Ramaphosa as part of the Public Private Growth Initiative.
The aim of the forestry masterplan
The aim of creating the masterplan is to support growth of the forestry industry, increase investment and healthy competition and create employment. An action orientated masterplan needs to achieve these goals with high impact over the course of the next five years.
Calling on stakeholders within the industry, a set of actions will need to be agreed-upon with achievable time frames. Those actions which yield the highest impact in terms of investment and employment in the shortest time frame will take priority. This while also taking into account transformational concerns and enterprise development.
The plan will be implemented across a number of sub-sectors of the industry including fibre and growers, pulp and paper, saw milling and poles.
Implementing the master plan
Factors which will need to be considered for the plan include available budgets, human capacity and skills and policy or regulatory impediments. Community interests and participation in terms of land claims, plantation interests and small business participation in the value chain, will also take a strong focus in creation of the masterplan.
Currently, provision is made for three regional workshops in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, with a further workshop in the Eastern Cape, possibly on the cards if budget becomes available.
Thankfully, considerable research, informed by extensive stakeholder engagement, is already available for the Forestry Sector, which will provide a good starting point for inception of the masterplan.