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6 Facts About the Timber Industry You Probably Didn’t Know

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

How often do you stop to think about the wood in your furniture, flooring or panelling? Where does it come from and how is it produced? TWK Agri explains six interesting facts you probably don’t know about the timber sector.

6 Interesting Facts About the Timber Industry

The timber industry is an agricultural sector that produces vast amounts of wood for all kinds of purposes. Here are six facts about the industry you probably did not know.


Read our blog for more information on South Africa’s timber industry.

1. South Africa’s Forests Cover Less Than 1% Of the Country

Unlike some other countries, South Africa has minimal forestry resources. Most of the industry is focused around KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.


2. South Africa Has Very Strict Forestry Laws


We have many protected tree species which are illegal to cut down. Around 50 of the 1,700 trees and shrubs in South Africa are protected, including the Marula and some varieties of Yellowwood.


3. South Africa’s Timber Industry Supplies Most of Africa


South African timber, mostly in the form of treated poles, is shipped all over the continent, including Morocco, Senegal, Ethiopia, Angola, Namibia, Madagascar and Mauritius.


4. South African Forests Are Among the Most Sustainable In The World


The forestry industry aims to be as environmentally, economically and socially responsible as possible. The South African industry boasts the highest degree of forest certification in the world.


5. 30% Of Forestry Land in SA Remains Unplanted


At any time, an average of 30% of our country’s forestry land is empty of trees and has not yet been planted. This is to allow space for conservation and recreation.


6. Forestry Is an Important Economic Sector For SA


In South Africa, the forestry industry contributes 5% of the national GDP, and around 10% of the country’s agricultural GDP. It is an extremely important contributor to the provincial economies of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Around 150,000 workers are employed in the industry countrywide.


Learn More About Timber Industry At TWK


Learn more about the timber and bark industries, as well as other agricultural products and sub sectors in South Africa, at TWK. Contact us for more information.


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