Mondi and Sappi plantations in Zululand, South Africa

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Pine and eucalyptus plantations have been established in parts of Zululand to supply wood to pulp mills situated at Mandeni (Sappi Tukela), Stanger (Sappi Fine Paper), Felixton (Mondi), and Richards Bay (Mondi). </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> Most of the pulp and paper is produced for export, but it all winds up as polluting waste, mostly from packaging materials, printing paper and sanitary tissue products. <br/><br/> Pulp and paper production starts with the destruction of grasslands, wetlands and forests to clear land for plantations. This is followed by their excessive water use, pollution with toxic agricultural chemicals, and the spread of invasive alien plants. Pesticides sprayed in plantations endanger both the health of the workers involved, and wildlife affected by overspray and pollution of streams etc. <br/><br/> This harm is followed by intensive mechanical management which results in soil compaction and pollution by oil spills and other waste, as well as severe soil erosion after clear cuts. <br/><br/> Plantation work usually involves temporary workers including women who must do dangerous work under harsh outdoor conditions for very little pay. This adds insult to the injury of having to do this demeaning work on land that was once their own, with clean water, fertile soil and plentiful wildlife. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Mondi and Sappi plantations in Zululand, South Africa</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/south-africa">South Africa</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>KwaZulu-Natal</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Zululand</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp<br /> Invasive species<br /> Deforestation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/pine'>Pine</a><br /><a href='/commodity/eucalyptus'>Eucalyptus</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">Tree plantations in this province cover approximately 250 000 hectares, providing mainly pulpwood to 6 pulp and paper mills. <br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>250000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>0</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>thousands more</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>1990</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/mondi'>Mondi</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/austria'><small>Austria</small></a><br /><a href='/company/sappi'>Sappi</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/south-africa'><small>South Africa</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Dept of Water Affairs , Dept of Forestry , Dept of Environment Affairs , Dept of Trade and Industries , Industrial Development Corporation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/forest-stewardship-council'>Forest Stewardship Council <small>(FSC)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Isolemvelo community environmental group (ICEG), Timberwatch Coalition</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Community awareness raising through workshops and information resources based on extensive observation and research.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Genetic contamination</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Soil acidity increased and loss of natural soil microorganisms and topsoil. </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Accidents, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Plantation work is generally dangerous and unhealthy due to poor working conditions and exposure to heat, rain, toxic chemicals, fumes from machinery etc.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Militarization and increased police presence</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>One of the worst problems is the contract labour system which allows plantation owners to use temporary or part-time workers and not be responsible for providing benefits such as housing, medical aid etc. while paying extremely low wages.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Institutional changes<br /> A transformation of the land ownership and management scenario with full restoration of land to local communities as a solution.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Different land-use models designed to convert monoculture tree plantations into mixed species continuous cover forestry operations. </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Despite government promises to rectify bad decisions of the previous regime, it continues to support and to subsidise the establishment of industrial timber plantations that displace local communities, destroy biodiversity, and undermine sustainable economies in favour of corporate profits. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Forest Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Land Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Water Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> National Environmental Management Act (NEMA)<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> - A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Industrial Tree Plantations in the KwaZulu - Natal Province of South Africa by Blessing Karumbidza - <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> - Preliminary report: THE SOCIAL IMPACTS OF CERTIFIED TIMBER PLANTATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE IMPLICATIONS THEREOF FOR AGROFUEL CROPS - available as a pdf file (1,3MB) impacts of certified timber plantations in South Africa - TW(2).pdf <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Illegal Timber Plantations - A Growing Problem in South Africa<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Timberwatch produced video -<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>Visit for links to video presentations on various aspects of monoculture tree plantations.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Wally Menne</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>