Easy pickings


Easy pickings

Money does grow on trees in the upper boughs of timber parastatal Safcol, where the bosses have plucked whopping bonuses while poisoning the industry.

Something is rotten in the state of South Africa’s timber industry. Over the past few years the soaring price of saw logs has squeezed more than 150 of the country’s 200 formal sawmills out of business. The furniture-manufacturing sector has shrunk by over 60%. Thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers have lost their jobs. The only business doing well out of the situation is the state-owned forestry giant Safcol.

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