Social functions of natural resources in the Tembe area of Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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People living adjacent to the Tembe Elephant Park in Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. The extremely high employment levels in the area mean that the people need to engage in multiple activities to diversify risks. The area is generally poor in terms of agricultural activity because the soils are naturally unsuitable for crop farming although they are only to a very limited extent, suitable for stock farming. This article, which is essentially descriptive in nature, is based on qualitative data which were obtained using semi-structured interviews, observation and an extensive literature review. The results of the study revealed that the people in this area had only limited capital to enable them to cope in the harsh conditions presented by nature and also that the area lacked formal job opportunities.