A large-scale job-creation project is in the pipeline for rural communities who live around Komatiland forest plantations in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
“We have set ourselves a target of creating at least 3 000 sustainable jobs by 2015,” said Komatiland Forests (KLF) spokesperson Leslie Mudimeli. he project aims to identify business opportunities for community members.
”Our main focus is on core-related opportunities such as, but not limited to, wood, pulp and paper, tourism, biofuels and biomass,” said Mudimeli. “Research is under way to profile the needs and aspirations of rural communities adjacent to our operations. This will help us to better understand projects that we could engage in, with the communities.”
Forestry parastatal Safcol, which owns KLF, announced recently it was looking for firms to provide profiles of communities that live around the forests for the project. he project would involve a 10-year strategy and includes research, testing project ideas in communities and getting ideas from the community.
Mudimeli said KLF currently employed about 1 800 people, with another 3 000 employed by contractors. The government cancelled controversial plans to privatise KLF last year. S afcol generates a large slice of its profits from its Komatiland operation, which covers about 90% of the 142 600ha of land managed by the forestry parastatal. – African Eye News Service