The management of forests for multiple purposes coupled with a varying socioeconomic profile of forest users can result in attitudinal differences towards forest management. This study examines the attitudes of rural people in South Africa towards the management of tribal forests. Attitude towards forest management was analysed with respect to five forest management objectives: 1, forest management for rural livelihood resilience to climate change; 2, forest management for reduction and management of forest fire risk; 3, forest management for sustainable forest-based livelihood; 4, forest management for household socioeconomic wellbeing; and 5, forest management for community-based climate change adaptation initiative. A household questionnaire survey was used to elicit information from 155 rural households using the proportionate random sampling procedure. Chi-square test was used to analyse data from the household survey. Factorial analysis was used to analyse variance in attitude towards forest management. The results showed that rural people generally have positive attitudes toward the management of tribal forests. Factor analysis isolated 2 major factors that explained 61% variance in attitude. Based on the findings we conclude that centralising forest management around the four management objectives (1, 3, 4 & 5) are likely to promote inclusive forest-based development in the study communities.