Who We Are

Umsonti was established in 2011 as a non-profit organisation and registered in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act. Umsonti builds on the successful work of Rural Forestry Development (RFD) and Rural Forest Management (RFM), both of which have provided support to community-owned plantation enterprises in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape since 2000.

Umsonti was established to provide a coordinated vehicle for fund-raising and support for forestry and related rural enterprises. As an organisation, we strive to provide an integrated service in support of forestry and related rural enterprises that generate sustainable jobs and income for rural communities.

What Umsonti means

Umsonti is the isiZulu word for the magnificent yellow wood tree (Podocarpus falcatus). We like the image of an umsonti as it symbolises an approach to community development that is local, part of the community, proud, timeless, valuable and rooted in the earth.

Who we work with

  • Communities resident in the former homeland areas, wishing to establish forestry and related businesses.
  • Communities/groups with land claims on commercial timber plantations.
  • Communities, groups and individuals from previously disadvantaged groups wanting to purchase commercial timber farms.