About Us

Kishugu Holdings (Pty) Ltd, under its subsidiaries, provide, among other services, the most effective Fire Management System in the world. We subscribe to the rationale of accountability, teamwork, excellence, adaptability and making a difference in the lives of people, the environment and planet.

The Kishugu Group, under the Working on Fire brand, is a global leader in supplying Integrated Fire Management Solutions (IFM). We offer advanced and all-inclusive solutions to our clients’ fire management needs, ranging from personnel, training and equipment to fire management planning and advisory services.


Kishugu has over 30 years’ experience in a variety of global landscapes affected by fire. It has done extensive work in protecting, preventing and suppressing wildfire, based on applied research on all aspects of wildfire. For the last 15 years, this expertise enabled Kishugu to successfully implement the South African Governments’ Working on Fire Programme.

Today, it is the primary fire resource responsible for wildfire management across South Africa. The multi-award winning programme is celebrated as the most successful job creation and skills development programme in the history of South Africa.

Kishugu provides all aspects of Integrated Fire Management services to all affected sectors from governments, environmental and military agencies to forestry, agricultural companies to land users, NGO’s, national and multi-national development agencies, industry associations and Fire Protection Associations (FPA’s).


This includes everything needed in wildfire management from aircraft, vehicles, pilots, firefighters, incident management teams to equipment, tools and training.

Our global leadership in Integrated Fire Management is maintained through innovation and investing in people.

Our belief in high environmental and ethical standards is reflected in our core values of accountability, teamwork, excellence and making a difference.

Our specialised management teams are experts in diverse wildfire scenarios, from the grass and peat lands of Asia and South America to the tropical forests of Africa and beyond. We have the experience and capacity to tailor-make wildfire solutions to specific challenges. Kishugu can deal with virtually any wildfire scenario as we have the capacity and resources.

Working on Fire (WOF) started when National Government awarded a tender to the Kishugu Group in 2003 to implement an aerial and ground resource plan for fighting unwanted wildfires. This resource plan was the first of its kind in South African and required in -depth local and international research to produce a strategy that could be practically implemented in the unique South African landscape. The official launch of WOF in September 2003 was an outcome of this research.

Given the high incidence and impact of annual wildfires and in wildland/urban interface areas, there was a need for an agency that could train firefighters. These firefighters are housed at bases but also have the capacity to be deployed nationally when necessary.

The overall strategy applies the principles of Integrated Fire Management to reduce the frequency and severity of uncontrolled fires. WOF combines sound land management principles and firefighting expertise with the need to create jobs and develop skills.

WOF was initially a government and commercial forestry sector funded initiative, but subsequently was became part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), providing work opportunities. The programme address the prevention and control of wildland fires to enhance the sustainability and protection of lives, properties and the environment.

In 2013, Working on Fire (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Kishugu Group, was awarded a seven-year contract to implement the Working on Fire Programme on behalf of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.

WOF employs over 5000 men and women, 94% are youth, 33% are women and 3% are people with disabilities. WOF employees are stationed at 196 bases across South Africa. Firefighters are recruited from marginalized communities and are fully trained as firefighters. All firefighters are also trained in Fire-awareness, fire-prevention and fire-suppression skills.

Career progression opportunities are available to firefighters to advance to Crew Leaders, Base Managers, Regional Managers, Ground Operations Managers and Provincial General Managers. There are also various other positions available that are most often filled by participants who have moved up the ranks. As of October 2019, 189 former EPWP participants, 34% of whom are women, have assumed management portfolios.

In line with the EPWP principles, WOF enables participants to undertake further training in Finance, Human Resources, Office Administration, Stock Control, Training, Health and Safety and Communication. Further training is also provided in computer literacy and driving. Life skills training is integral to the WOF Programme as it creates a platform for personal growth to progress both internally and enhance employability outside of WOF.


To become the global leaders in Integrated Fire Management (IFM).


By developing, suppling and implementing Integrated Fire Management Solutions across the wildfire value chain to governments, land users, development agencies and communities enabling effective management of wildfires to save lives, property and the environment.



We strive for excellence in all our operations: saving lives, properties and the environment. To be excellent, we need to be accountable for our actions.

Accountability is key to Kishugu’s continued success and for this reason, we make available – to all our stakeholders – a free and anonymous, externally operated Ethics Line.

This management tool enables concerned employees, partners, suppliers etc., associated with Kishugu to anonymously report any fraudulent, corrupt and unethical practices to an independent third party – Whistle Blowers (Pty) Ltd. By doing so, you can help protect the integrity of the organisation.


Whistle Blowers has a 24-hour service, every day of the year and their agents are well able to assist you with any concerning matter. They promise to protect your identity by keeping your calls safe, secure and anonymous.

To contact Whistle Blowers, you can make use of any of the following platforms:

Phone: 0800 111 528
SMS: 33490
Email: kishugu@whistleblowing.co.za
Website: www.whistleblowing.co.za


Kishugu Group Profile

Kishugu is a leading, private Integrated Fire Management Solutions (IFMS) company.

Our Future

Climate change and forestry mechanisation are expected to “change the game” for fighting forest fires, creating a need for a specialised fire management capacity. 

Kishugu History

Kishugu Holdings and its subsidiaries are growing beyond its borders to provide so much more than just firefighting.