This study was done in the communal area surrounding Makoko village and in the adjacent conservation area within the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga province, South Africa. The structure of the woody vegetation within the two areas were compared in terms of species diversity, density, size structure distribution and biomass to determine the impact of fuel wood harvesting within the communal area upon the woody vegetation. There was no difference in woody plant species richness between the conservation and communal areas, but there was a difference between the uplands and lowlands. The conservation area uplands had the highest woody plant density and woody plant biomass. There were differences between areas in terms of the woody size class structure. The socio-economic status of Makoko village was determined by interviewing 100 households within the village. The use of fuels including wood, paraffin, candles and electricity was determined. Community and Kruger National Park issues such as advantages and disadvantages of living adjacent to the Kruger National Park were also noted. The demand for fuel wood within Makoko village was 338.9 kg per person per year, but the supply of fuel wood in the communal area was only 54.6 kg per person per year, if harvested sustainably. A conservation area of equal size could provide 270.0 kg of fuel wood per person per year on a sustainable basis. Management recommendations were made towards achieving sustainability in the use of the woody plant resources.
Dissertation (MSc (Wildlife Management))--University of Pretoria, 2007.