News Views August 2014 - NCT Forestry Co

N˚ 84 • AUGUST 2014
In
this
issue
•
2014 Tree
farmer awards
•
High risk fire
season
•
Plantations &
people
•
NCT’s
Mandela Day
*
W iS n &
L N
i nE k
g
Vi In E dW e S p e• n Ad Ue Gn Ut S Tt i 2 m0 b
1 4
e r
g r o w e r s
t o
m a r k e 1
t s
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At its 65th AGM, NCT reported a group turnover
important destination for NCT’s wood chips, China
of R1,677 million for the year under review, an
and India are coming into the mix,” reported the
increase of R623 million on last year. This shows an
general manager.
increase in sales volumes and a weaker exchange
He went on to elaborate why paper consumption
rate over most of the financial year.
in Japan has suffered and demand in India and
Total sales volume amounted to 1 774 978
China has grown.
tonnes with an increase in Eucalyptus pulpwood
“Like many developed countries, Japan has a
(33.25%), Acacia pulpwood (29,92%) and nonshrinking population and a trend to use less paper
pulpwood sales (66.78%).
per capita. On top of that, it also had to deal with
NCT also presented a healthy group profit
cheaper imports of paper from China in recent
before tax of R159,9 million, R82,1 million higher
years. The Japanese economy also took a heavy
than last year.
blow during the world economic crisis of 2008
In his address to members, NCT chairman,
and tsunami of 2011.
Harald Niebuhr, reflected on the global economy
“Like China, India has a growing and developing
of the past year and its impact on NCT. As the
population. It has numerous pulp companies that
international paper and pulp industry continued
source fibre from many small growers who are
to recover from the economic downturn of 2009,
free to sell to the highest bidder. These companies
market conditions leaned towards lower advertising
have schemes to encourage tree farming, as they
spend, digital media, decreased consumer spend
themselves are not allowed to own plantations.
and reduced industrial production.
The demand for fibre outstripped supply in late
“These trends presented a challenge to NCT at
2012 and caused prices to soar to a level where
the start of the year,” said the chairman. “However
the importing of logs and wood chips became
aggressive marketing, a confident management
viable,” commented the general manager.
team, a loyal support base and good decisionDespite a slow start to the year under review,
making played a role in securing
NCT managed to find markets
markets for the excess wood chip
(at the best possible prices) for
stock. NCT’s international brand
members’ timber.
and reputation as a reliant and
The general manager also
consistent supplier also allowed
disclosed that NCT sold three ships
the co-operative to break into
of mixed Eucalyptus to India (and
new markets and revive old ones,”
will sell nine ships in the 2014
continued the chairman.
calendar year); there were spot
The chairman also expressed
sales to China; and a well-timed
that despite the digital age,
contract with Sappi Saiccor.
demand for paper products is on
Future trends that face NCT were
the rise throughout Asia. Added to
highlighted. “With signs of a sellers’
the traditional basket of wood chip
market, the pattern of dealing with
customers, is the growing interest
many customers on shorter-term
from and investment in the wood
contracts brings a new dynamic
bio-energy industry.
and more complexities to the
Following
the
chairman’s Guest Speaker, Jeremy Gardiner negotiating table. With the spread
address, general manager, Patrick
of markets, comes the spread of risk
Kime, presented an overview of market conditions
and market knowledge gained. This calls for less
that prevailed during the year and future market
supply flexibility and the need for accuracy and
trends.
load scheduling,” concluded the general manager.
“For several years, NCT has been in a position
Guest speaker, economist, Jeremy Gardiner
to lead wood chip prices paid by the local pulp
from Investec addressed members on current
and paper industries, and even special hardwood
affairs, economics and investment markets under
markets. Although Japan remains the most
the title “Stable returns in an unstable market.”
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Tr e e F a r m e r
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Awards
NCT announced its tree farmers of the year awards at its AGM in
July.
Alford Farms and Alfred Khoza received this year’s coveted awards in tree
farming. The winners were recognised for their excellence in sustainable
plantation management and earned them a place on the exclusive list of
achievers in tree farming.
In the commercial category, Alford Farms, owned by the Schefermann
family, located near Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal took top honours,
while Alfred Khoza (Senzakahle Trading Enterprise) outside Mtubatuba
in northern Zululand was awarded the winner in the category of a farm
managed on communal land.
The father and son team of Trevor and Neville Schefermann from Vryheid
have increased productivity on their farm through correct site species
matching, exceptional silviculture practices, good labour relations and
effective diversification of markets and pooling resources with neighbours.
Their plantation management is compliant with all aspects of sustainable
plantation management including health and safety and minimizing
impacts on the environment.
The Schefermann operation is an example of an enterprise where a family
has been able to work together to run a sustainable business, building on
the legacy left by forefathers. Neville is a fourth generation timber farmer.
These aspects make them worthy recipients of the NCT tree farmer of the
year award in the category of farm managed on private land.
Alfred Khoza was acknowledged the winner in the category of farm
managed on communal land. He hails from KwaMnqobokazi outside
Mtubatuba in northern Zululand. His business is also family run with his
wife, Lindwe, managing operations.
The operation was judged on general farm management and adherence
to forestry standards in silviculture, harvesting, road construction and
maintenance, environmental management and social responsibility.
Alfred joined NCT in 1994 and has reaped the benefits of his membership.
He compliments the co-operative for its services rendered to members, its
effort to nurture and share vital forestry information to enable his business
(and trees) to grow. Project regeneration, member workshops, logistics
planning and markets have all contributed to the success of his enterprise.
Alfred is a fine example of pure determination and true grit and is worthy
of being awarded this accolade.
The NCT tree farmer of the year was initiated in 2002 and is
awarded annually to tree farming operations that display excellence
in sustainable plantation management.
Winners received a chain saw sponsored by:
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Member Loyalty
Members were recognised for their long-standing and loyal support at NCT’s 2014 AGM
25 years
25 years: Umhlatuzi Valley Sugar (Pty) Ltd; F Muraro; G Hodson; Karmar Farming Trust;
Guzulu (Pty) Ltd; Cramond House CC; LL Conco; MJ Tusi; GD Lander; GW Klingenberg;
Waterloo Estates CC; Malton Farm CC; EV Mkhize; DP Shewan &Sons; VJ Rohrs; PD Mckenzie;
Imraan Kadwa Enterprises CC; JW Holdt Farming; UVS Company Ltd - CB Addison; ELJ Venter;
D Bruce & Sons; Tall Timbers (Pty) Ltd; Cramond Forests (Pty) Ltd
30 years
35 years
Inge Wichmann (EH Wichmann), Victor Drogemöller
(VG Drogemöller), Chris O’Flaherty
(THC O’Flaherty), Wolfgang Elges
John Mapstone (Basfort Park Farming),
Peter Dobeyn (Edgehill Farm), Rodger Stewart
(New Guederland Sugar)
30 years: Umfolozi Sugar Planters Ltd; Lund &
Son; EH Wichmann; Monastery Mariannhill;
EFC Ortmann; TCH O’Flaherty; JE van Romburgh;
WE Elges; VG Drogemöller; TJ Timbers; AJM Cook
35 years: Nandi Mission; Edgehill Farm (Pty) Ltd;
Brasfort Park Farming; T Thorpe;
De Billot Trust; New Guelderland Sugar (Pty) Ltd;
Beaufort Sugar CC; Brocklee Farms CC;
JH Bartlett; RC Saint; DG Turvey
40 years
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45 years
Stephen Gallager, Mike Gallagher, Rainer Kassier
(Rittersgrun Trust)
Denis Hodson (Myddelton Estates), Ian Hill
40 years: Stephen Gallagher Family Trust;
Mark Gallagher Family Trust; Rittersgrun Trust;
Jarvie Farming
45 years: Neuenkirchen Congregation;
Myddelton Estates; QK Turner; Hill Family Trust
Awards
50 years
55 years
Karlen Estates (Pty) Ltd
60 years
Daugherty Partnership;
Marchmont Farm Partnership
65 years
Matthew Crowe (Crowe Brothers), Trevor Lewis
(Lewis Farming), Lloyd Harries (JMB Harries
Farming)
50 years: D&CM Crookes Farming Partnership;
Jindon Farming Partnership;
JMB Harries Farming CC; Lewis Farming;
Crowe Brothers t/a Fairfield Estate;
JV Peckham Estates; EHW Oellermann;
MG Armstrong
65 years
Seele Properties Trust; RH Fortmann;
R&M Farming; Holme Lacy Farms CC; RE Küsel;
WA Shaw; Hiltonian Society; CI Shaw;
WH Redinger; RE Domleo; Wackem Trust;
Glengarry Farming; Silverly Estates; DH Küsel;
IH Bee; PJ Schröder; MM Hoffmann; RW Schröder
Family Trust; WVC Shaw; EAH Schröder;
Cooling Estates
William Shaw, Wolfgang Rommelspacher (Wackem Trust), Dieter Küsel. Irma Bee, Ron Küsel, Rupert Fortmann,
Walter Redinger, Peter Schröder, Victor Schröder, Carl Seele, Reinhold Schröder, Irwin Shaw, Victor Shaw,
Rowan Welsford (Hiltonian Society)
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Guests in attendance
Jeremy Carr and Pat Coleby
Joseph Mbokazi, Nkosinathi Gumede, Livers Gumede,
Madida Thanda, Khumalo James Mandla, Jorge Silavele
Ant Foster and Conrad Klipp
Gladys Shezi, Thembisile Mkhize, Emelia Zondi, Sakhiwe Mtshali,
Lucky Nhlanhla Luthuli, Khulani Ngcobo,Beatrice Nzama
Micheon Ngubane, Nomalanga Mosala, Irvin Pascal
Joseph Ntuli and
Ndunakazi Angel Nomasonto
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Deren Coetzer, Ralph Voigts, Ivan Voigts
Friedel Eggers, Ant Gibbs, Craig Norris
Bruce Goatley and Reg Niebuhr
Graham Burnett and
Manabu Mikamiyama
NCT conducted a number of field days
recently. Mfundo Zungu, NCT’s PR Assistant,
reports on the Zululand field day for smallscale timber growers held at the Nseleni
Nursery.
A full programme included discussions relating
to markets and wood quality; management of
pests and diseases; coppice management and site
species matching.
Elvis Nyathela, NCT’s Richards Bay district
manager, provided members with key information
on how to achieve good wood quality, its
advantages and the relationship between density,
age of timber and tonnes (over weighbridge in
terms of returns).
A tour of the nursery was conducted by William
Davidson who urged members to place orders
early as it takes time to produce the requested
seedlings/clones.
This was followed by an in-field stop at a clone
trial that had been clear-felled and then coppiced.
The coppice crop was six years old. The differences
between species/clones and the impacts of pests
could be seen in the growth performance.
Craig Norris, NCT’s Forest Technology manager,
explained how to select species/clones for the
Zululand coastal plain and highlighted that GC
clones are no longer a viable option because of
pest problems. The GU hybrids produce the best
growth in this area and also have the advantage of
being suitable for pole markets.
It was also emphasised why Leptocybe invasa
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NCT members with Elvis Nyathela (crouching on
the right)
Leptocybe invasa
(gall wasp) is
an important
consideration in
choosing hybrids
GU083 is high in density
compared to other GU hybrids
(gall wasp) is an important consideration when
choosing a species/clone to plant. Although
most GU hybrids do not form galls after being
attacked by Leptocybe they can be susceptible to
stunting if sting loads are exceptionally high. The
seedlings do continue to grow but at a reduced
rate. C. henryii is a good choice for this area as it is
reasonably tolerant of the gall wasp and it has very
good wood properties for pulp markets.
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SilvaCel site
BayFibre
NCT recently acquired the land and assets
of the former Silvacel mill from Mondi.
This is a welcome move and allows NCT to
assess and consolidate its operations in Richards
Bay strategically.
The site provides the machinery and space
needed to meet the needs of a growing customer
base into the future. It puts NCT in a good
position for optimal marketing with the potential
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to handle pine chips, biomass pellets and other
products.
NCT is excited at the possibilities created with
the new facility:
• It offers a storage area for logs larger than
ShinCel and BayFibre combined – up to
60n000ntonnes.
• It is conveniently adjacent to BayFibre, and
uses the same access road.
• It already has an export conveyor system from
TWK
the mill to the port with wood chip storage
areas similar to ShinCel.
• It offers NCT an alternative site to ShinCel,
which is on leased land. The lease is due to
expire in a few years.
Options on how best to utilise the chipping
operations, storage facilities and administration
functions are under investigation.
The ability of the acquired mill’s wood
chipping equipment to run on a sustainable
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basis will be assessed before NCT decides on
the various possible permutations this purchase
could facilitate.
The purchase is indicative of NCT’s confidence
in the international wood chip markets and
the security of the co-operative’s role in those
markets.
This is NCT’s fourth mill in its wood chipping
basket – others are ShinCel, BayFibre and NCT
Durban Wood Chips
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WEATHER WATCH
HIGH RISK CONDITIONS FOR FIRE SEASON
The seasonal climate watch report for the period
July to November indicates conditions that are
conducive to runaway fires. This report is issued
by the South African Weather Service and uses
statistical data and modelling systems to predict
likely weather conditions.
The forecasting system shows a strong
probability for below normal rainfall for the
late-winter period for most of the country. It
also indicates a good chance of above normal
minimum and maximum temperatures in early
and late spring. If these conditions materialise,
it would mean a season where the risks of fire
damage would extend into late spring.
Timber growers should take every precaution
to reduce the risk of damage to their plantations.
This would include: ensuring that there is enough
fire-fighting capacity; equipment is in a serviceable
condition; emergency procedures are in place; firecrews are adequately trained and kept on standby. Reaction time is critical, the sooner a team gets
to a fire the greater the chance of containing the
damage. It is also essential to become a member
of the local Fire Protection Association (FPA).
Maps indicating the probability (%) of climatic conditions deviating from the norm for the period August to
end of October 2014. (Courtesy of the SA Weather Services)
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FAMINE WEED
A threat to food security, biodiversity & health
Craig Norris, NCT’s Forest Technology Services Manager
Famine weed (Parthenium hysterophorus)
became well-established in South Africa
in the 1980s after cyclone Demonia and is
sometimes referred to as Demonia weed.
In recent years, it has spread rapidly
across KwaZulu–Natal, Mpumalanga and
North-west provinces. It has the potential
to infest frost-free sites throughout the
summer rainfall zone.
Famine weed can generate up to 25 000 viable
seeds per adult plant which can mature to the
flowering stage in four weeks. This makes it a very
dangerous invasive weed, especially in disturbed
environments where it can rapidly establish and
proliferate.
The name famine weed comes from the fact that
it can have severe impacts on agriculture. In India,
it caused yield decline of up to 40% in certain
crops. In Ethiopia, sorghum yield was reduced
by between 40% and 90% in areas where it was
not controlled and in Queensland (Australia), it
is estimated that rangeland infestation cost the
livestock industry $168 million a year. The weed
produces allopathic chemicals which inhibit the
growth of other plants allowing it to spread rapidly.
It is also toxic to livestock and can cause human
health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and
skin problems.
The plants’ seeds can easily be carried in mud
caked on vehicles and are often spread over long
distances in this way. It is important to identify
new infestation early and to eradicate these plants
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immediately before they get a foothold. Roads,
railway lines, power lines, riparian areas and similar
corridors often serve as pathways along which the
weed spreads. These areas should be checked on
a regular basis.
The best way to control the weed is to ensure
good land management practices. Overgrazing
results in bare soil and allows the weed to invade.
Cultivated lands must be kept weed-free and
plantations need regular inspection. Plants can
be pulled out from the roots before flowering or
sprayed using a registered chemical. Workers must
wear protective gloves, clothing and a facemask
at all times. Picloram 240g at a 0.5 concentration
has proved to be effective as a foliar spray. If the
weed is present on a farm, it is essential to do an
initial spray with a minimum of two follow-up
operations a year. This will ensure that plants to
not have a chance to set new seed.
Biological control is going to be an essential
part of the war on famine weed. Two leaf rust
fungi, a stem-boring weevil and a leaf feeding
beetle have already been released. Ongoing
research by the Agricultural Research Council will
result in further control agents being released in
the future. However, it is essential that landowners
improve their management practices to lower the
risk of invasion by this plant and reduce current
infestations on their land.
(Reference: Farmers’ Weekly – December 2013 –
WESSA Training brochure)
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A young plant growing in disturbed soil
The plant is a prolific flowerer producing up to 25 000 viable seeds
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Roads often act as pathways for famine weed to spread along
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KwaZulu-Natal
The Kwazulu-Natal Fire Protection
Association
(KZNFPA)
is
the
recognised
provincial
umbrella
fire protection association for the
province. It offers aerial fire-fighting
support (Firestop) to corporate and
private forestry growers in the KZN
midlands and is responsible for the
camera detection network currently
operated by Alasia Marketing
(Firehawk) in Currys Post.
THE
FUTURE
KZNFPA, in association with its
affiliated FPA’S, the Working on Fire
programme, other fire agencies and
relevant Government departments,
will become the overall co-ordinating
structure in terms of the National
Veld & Forest Fire Act (NVFFA) serve
and safeguard the communities, and
protect the property & resources of
rural Kwazulu-Natal.
KZNFPA will be the voice of
integrated veld & forest fire
management in KZN - for the benefit
of the broader communities it is
required to serve in terms of its NVFFA
obligations. KZNFPA will play a pivotal
role in providing authoritative advice
and information on all aspects of veld
& forest fire safety and management
through a range of services it and
its strategic partners can offer, to
forestry, commercial agriculture and
the community at large.
KZNFPA
is
a
not-for-profit
association governed by an adopted
Constitution, managed by an
executive committee, operations
committee, and run by a permanent
staff compliment in its Currys Postbased provincial office. KZNFPA is
representative of all FPA’s and their
members which in turn are made
up of the majority of landowner
categories within the province.
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Fire Protection Association
ACCOMPLISHMENTS to date
Aerial
KZNFPA together with Sappi as a member,
have upgraded the Riverdale airfield at an overall
cost of R0.5 million. This has allowed for the
permanent placement of two Single Engine Air
Tankers (SEATS), a spotter aircraft and one of the
Working on Fire national helicopter resources at
the airfield. This has proven to be a positive move
with increased utilisation of aerial fire fighting
resources to surrounding landowners.
It became necessary to review airfield constraints
during bad weather days in the south-western
area near Bulwer. A local farmer and member of
the local FPA has offered his airfield to KZNFPA
for use during the fire season. Basic infrastructure
to support the aerial fire fighting resource was
established and once again this has made a huge
impact on the ability of the aircraft to manage fires
from this new airfield.
A full financial and contract review was
undertaken, the end result ensuring that flying rates
were reduced between 8-10%, and membership
contributions in terms of the aviation budget were
limited to a lower than CPI increment. KZNFPA is
working on a provincial aerial support programme
which will hopefully bring costs down further and
improve effectiveness and efficiency of aircraft
deployment and use within the province.
Communication & reporting
All spotter aircraft have been equipped with
new improved headsets to ensure better clarity
with communications, especially ground to air.
The aircraft also have GoPro camera’s monitoring
all aerial fire fighting operations. The footage
of these fires now forms part of the fire report
submitted by the pilot to KZNFPA management
and the member impacted by the fire. The footage
will also assist with post mortem discussions and
facilitate improvement in terms of co-ordinated
ground and air support at fires. The reporting
format for all pilots has also been reviewed with
more detail provided.
KZNFPA will assess the effectiveness of digital
radio within the province and ensure that any
switch from analogue to digital radio networks is
in the interest of all current analogue radio users, is
a seamless transition and that a change over offers
a medium- to long-term benefit for current users.
Standard operating procedures
A full review of all standard operating procedures
has been undertaken to ensure that KZNFPA
works within a very definitive and structured
environment. A number of new standard
operating procedures and policy documents
have also been compiled to ensure effective and
efficient management practices.
Executive
committee
Representation includes all landowner categories
– corporate and private timber, government,
commercial agriculture and general landowners.
Operations
committee
The operations committee has adopted a
terms of reference to ensure that all committee
members are able to participate in a collaborative
and meaningful manner in turn ensuring the
landowner/member benefits from the committee
discussions and activities.
(Courtesy: Bobby Hoole,
Chairman KZNFPA Operations Committee)
BACKGROUND
In 1954 the Midlands FPA was established and some 30 years later, became known as the
KZN Fire Protection Association and began to provide aerial fire fighting support services to
the forestry industry in the KZN Midlands incorporating areas to the north of the Karkloof
Shafton airfield, spreading northwards through to Greytown and to the south through to
Harding / Weza. The aerial service became known as Firestop.
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MAN & machine
Photo: Jos Ackerman
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vs NATURE
Fighting fires from the air is as daunting
as fighting it on the ground. Planes fly into
blinding smoke and raging flames as strategic
airstrikes are launched against fires engulfing
hectares of land.
Pilots brave the elements and encounter
immense pressure and danger as they fly insanely
close to land they are trying to save.
The main purpose in aerial fire-fighting is to get
to the fire as soon as possible and get it under
control. Fire spotters and single engine air tankers
(SEATS) are sent in to do battle with the elements.
The spotter pilot plays a vital role and is used
as a control platform for fire bosses as well as
controlling and directing ground resources,
SEATS and helicopters. The spotter co-ordinates
the aerial attack. He is the eye in the sky relaying
information on the fire as seen from above.
The spotter guides the SEATS in and out of fires,
making them aware of any dangerous obstacles
(like power lines) or situations and recommends
the correct line of fire. The safety of the SEAT is his
priority. The spotter can also be used to patrol an
area for the early signs of fire.
Logging information – time of fire, where
it starts and spreads – is critical for insurance
purposes. Video footage, stills photography and
dictaphone recordings are some of the methods
spotters use. Single-engine Cessnas 182 aircraft
are used with the most up-to-date communication
and radio equipment.
The SEATS’ role is to cool the fire for the
ground crew. The challenges and danger they
can encounter on a day is blinding smoke, down
drafts, fierce berg winds, landing & loading. Turbo
Thrushes are used which are modified for cropspraying out of fire season. Their water capacity
varies between 1500-2000 litres depending on the
aircraft. All water is loaded on land-based airstrips.
As thrilling as it may sound, aerial fire-fighting
is a job that requires nerves of steel. Skills required
before one is even considered for the job is a
commercial pilot’s licence with an agricultural
rating and at least 1 000 flying hours under one’s
belt for spotters and more for SEATS.
NCT acknowledges Robbie Roodt, chief spotter pilot at Shafton air base in the KZN
midlands for sharing information on aerial fire-fighers.
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Rob Thompson, Assistant General Manager
Over the years that I have been involved
in anti-timber theft initiatives, certain key
realities have come to the fore.
The four realities
Arguably the most disappointing reality is the
very poor police and legislative support in the
fight against the scourge of timber theft. Seldom is
there adequate investigation into cases and when
a case is brought to book, penalties imposed are
considerably wanting. Most often than not, cases
are thrown out of court due to lack of evidence.
The second reality is that timber theft is difficult
to quantify and identify. The extensive plantations
and forestry related operations that growers
manage are situated in remote and rural areas and
in terrain difficult to monitor 24/7.
The third reality is that forestry produces a
natural timber resource, valuable, in that it offers
the most basic of human essentials: warmth,
shelter, protection and income.
My fourth key reality is that timber theft
frequency rides in tandem with market activity.
Use the NCT green dye on your timber soon after clear-felling.
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When market demand for timber increases the
occurrence of opportunistic timber theft seems to
increase.
Addressing the realities
The four listed realities, as concerning as they
might seem at face value, do however provide
some specific guidelines as to how to go about
thwarting timber theft, or, at least discouraging
such.
• Issue specific and clear permits to contractors
on your farm/plantation outlining unambiguous
rights and restrictions. Permits to be carried at
all times.
• Name lists and ID numbers of contractor
personnel should be obtained and regularly
monitored.
• Do regular checks on contractor personnel.
• Make sure all available data on delivery
documentation is completed in full.
• Never allow delivery documentation into the
hands of a third party on your behalf.
• Never allow a load to travel without valid
documentation.
• Have literate, responsible and as senior as
possible personnel on duty at your timber
depots at all times.
• Use the NCT green dye on your timber soon
after clear-felling. Use a unique spray pattern for
double security.
• Record and document ALL timber movement
from the fell process EVERY day. How much
felled? How much in field? How much at depot?
How much dispatched? Become pedantic about
your record keeping.
• Designate your stack areas visibly to deter
illicit activity and indicate disturbance. Count
accurately.
• Photograph your stacks daily and compare
successive images for signs of disturbance.
Photograph with the electronic date and time
stamp activated, every load that leaves your
farm (together with the driver) if possible.
• Invest in a remote infra-red camera trap. Use it
to monitor sites such as depots, access points or
in field at night, remotely and safely.
• Where load skimming is suspected, paint a
swath of dye across your loads on trucks and
wagons. Obtain mill images on receipt of loads
for comparative purposes.
• Regularly interact with your haulier and check
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routes and driver behaviour as recorded by the
tracking facility.
• If timber is being stolen standing, then mark
trees in advance of the fell line with a distinct
pattern with a hatchet. Alert mills to be on the
lookout for the pattern in timber arriving. At
worst this measure will deter further theft from
that location.
In the case of an incident that you wish to
have prosecuted, the onus will always be on
you to prove ownership of the timber. In all of
your operations, work towards closing as many
loopholes as is possible, right from onset and as
early into the supply chain as you can. Should an
incident then occur, you stand a fighting chance
of making headway with a prosecution. On the
other hand however, I would be so bold as to
say that, should the above counter-measures
be implemented efficiently and as a rule, the
likelihood of opportunistic incidents recurring
on your farm or within your supply chain is very
remote.
Generally the bulk of timber theft incidents
within the KZN environs still appear to be
opportunistic. There are some indications of
organised syndications running truck skimming
operations along some main transport routes.
While these are being monitored by the authorities,
your careful management of loads, service
providers and freight records remains warranted.
Remember, trust relationships are your first line of
defence, so select your service providers carefully
and regard whoever selected, as a fundamental
extension of your business.
In Mpumalanga, the timber theft situation
appears more dire with incidences of violent
and armed theft of both timber and equipment
increasing. The combating of armed theft is
outside the scope of an article of this nature
barring the obvious call on all NCT farmers to be
vigilant and careful. If a situation feels wrong, then
rather follow your instinct to remain safe, than
take a chance.
There is always so much to say and recommend
in an article relating to anti-timber theft measures.
I trust that this article serves to stimulate timber
growers to go just that little bit further towards
keeping tally and recording timber flow along the
supply chain. If you know what you have, how
much you have and where it is at any given time,
you will immediately notice should something go
awry and appropriate action can be taken.
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Women behind the scenes
In our fourth feature of Women behind the Scenes, Mfundo Zungu, NCT’s PR Assistant, gets up
close and personal with our lovely ladies from the George district office.
Toekie Steenkamp
and Annaline Munro
It is apparent that Toekie Steenkamp and Annaline
Munro of the George office are both passionate and
dedicated to providing their members/logistics
contractors with the best possible customer service.
They both agree that being a Commercial Services
administrator requires continuous interaction and
communication with members and contractors.
Without structured daily planning, it is impossible
to keep members happy and satisfied.
Their main area of operation is the southern
Cape, brokering sales between growers and nonpulpwood (special) markets. They also offer a service
to members in the Eastern Cape (Stutterheim) who
mainly supply wattle to NCT Durban Wood Chips
and Sappi Saiccor in KwaZulu-Natal. Some 35
members are serviced by the George office with
2i000–3 000 tonnes of timber being processed.
Annaline has been in the employ of NCT for nine
years. She takes each day as it comes and gives her
best at all times. Team spirit and satisfied members
make it worthwhile to report for work each day.
Annaline has extensive administration work
experience: she worked at the Nestle dairy factory
laboratory as an ISO and NOSA typist and later as a
receptionist and debt collecting clerk for attorneys.
Prior to joining NCT, she worked at Shell (garage
franchise) as receptionist and debtors/creditors
clerk. Annaline has an executive secretary diploma
through the Academy of Learning College, majoring
in Public Relations.
Annaline is the mother of two daughters; Joanli
(8) and Ansuné (3) and is madly in love with,
Johannes, her husband of 12 years. She’s involved
in her church and enjoys assisting at the children’s
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church. Annaline is thankful for working half-day; it
allows her to participate in her children’s extra mural
activities. She also expresses great appreciation
towards Toekie for her motivation and all her
assistance. “It is a privilege to be part of Toekie’s
team,” says Annaline.
Annaline wants to “live each day to its fullest,
make a difference in some one’s life today, as
tomorrow is not promised to anyone!”
Toekie, too, is a noble employee of NCT - for 14
years. Month–end payments from the markets are
most challenging in her line of duty. However she
always strives to keep her members satisfied.
Toekie’s introduction to forestry was when
she married forester, Manie Steenkamp in 1975.
She joined SAFCOL in 1977 in the administration
section working in East London, Ruiterbos,
Outeniqua Mountains, Jonkersberg, George and
La-Motte offices until 1999. In March 2000, Toekie
joined Marius Neser at NCT and took over office
management in 2008 when he left.
Toekie has a passion for sport and is an active
outdoors person who enjoys camping and fishing
with her family. Cycling and road running are part
of her daily routine. She has provincial colours in
mountain biking (endurance) in her age category
and has completed nine Argus Cycle races.
A qualified nursing sister, Toekie is a very proud
ouma to two grandchildren. She has three daughters:
Melanie, a social worker residing in England, Annelie,
a speech & audiologist based in Cape Town and
Ilze, a dietician living in Australia. Toekie’s pet hate
is dishonesty. She believes that the greatest truth is
honesty, and the greatest falsehood is dishonesty.
T E A M N C T C E L E B R A T E D M A N D E L A D AY
W I T H A C L E A N - U P O F B U R G E R S T R E E T,
IN PIETERMARITZBURG
NCT cleaned up a 2km course between its head
office and subsidiary office (NCT Tree
Farming) in Burger Street on Mandela Day. Two
teams proceeded to clean up parts of
Burger, Alan Paton (Commercial), Jabu Ndlovu
(Loop) and Prince Alfred streets.
Team NCT in Commercial Road
Team NCT of Lungile Nguse, Mfundo Zungu and
General Manager, Patrick Kime in Burger Street
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P L A N T A T I O N S
Tackle single tracks on your mountain bike,
exchange a run on the tarmac for one on dirt,
take the dogs for an outing, get a glimpse of a
crowned eagle, surprise a bush buck or simply
take an afternoon walk and appreciate the
tranquility and fresh air.
These are just some of the activities to
experience in a plantation forest.
Plantation forests are managed as a commercial
entity in which the technical business of timber
growing, harvesting and processing takes place.
Plantations act as a carbon sink and assist to
combat global warming. They also offer users the
opportunity to enjoy the forest environment and
outdoors.
Today, many plantation forest owners have
developed hiking trails and mountain bike routes
through their land and have made the progressive
move of opening their forests to users. Perhaps
many also recognise the importance of promoting
the multiple uses of landholdings and encourage
a better understanding of the ecosystems which
make up the forest environment.
Plantations have proved popular among sport
enthusiasts, hikers, birders, photographers,
walkers and others who wish to share the open
spaces with their dogs.
A network of trails in the plantations offer routes
over forested hills, valleys, streams and grassland
areas. Trails cut across plantation roads and single
tracks through the trees. Users should be mindful
that these are working farms so routes can change
to secure their safety when trees are harvested.
Apart from experiencing the tranquil
surroundings in a plantation, users don’t have to
contend with traffic though they may have to look
out for wildlife – bush buck, reed buck, duiker,
oribi are common in the forests not to mention
the abundant birdlife.
The majority of land owners allow access to
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their land for free; some install honesty boxes at
various points to cover the maintenance of trails
while others impose an annual entry fee limiting
the number of users.
U S E S
Pietermaritzburg boasts its own mountain bike
park in the plantations owned by the Msunduzi
Municipality (and managed by NCT Tree Farming).
The Cascades Cycle Park is also the venue for
annual international mountain bike events that are
part of the world circuit, the most recent being the
UCI MTB Marathon World Championship.
Some forestry companies have partnered with
event organisers, mountain bike and running
clubs allowing access to their plantations and
natural areas in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
They provide sponsorship and/or land access to
several popular sporting events.
Runners also make the most of this environment
and take to the forests to train with some official
races combining a route on road and off road,
winding along single tracks and fire breaks.
C H A L L E N G E S
However, the opening of forests to users does
not come without its challenges. The illegal
dumping of garden, household and building
waste, as well as day-to-day litter are a constant
headache for land owners. The rubbish is not only
an eyesore and health risk, but also hampers firefighting teams who often have to battle through
waste dumped on access roads and on firebreaks.
Forest fires are also a frequent problem with
some actively and indiscriminately lit. Hunting
with dogs is prohibited in plantations and
these should be reported to the police and land
owner. Most land owners do not encourage the use
of motorbikes as they cause erosion and noise
pollution.
2 0 1 4 27
of the
Tamanna Patel, School of Life Sciences
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
Photo: Tamanna Patel.
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endangered oribi antelope
Oribi are South Africa’s most endangered antelope. Their conservation is challenging
because the majority of the population live within privately owned farms. It is for this
reason that the Oribi Working Group (OWG) was formed to help monitor and manage
existing oribi populations and to reduce known threats to them.
Surveys have been conducted biannually since 1998 and, as of recently, annually. Population estimates
are generated from counts conducted through these surveys which are then entered into a long-term
database. However, there are many gaps in the database (eg. inconsistent returns) which leads to an
inaccurate understanding of oribi population trends. To-date, it is noted that population numbers are strongly related to the number of surveys returned by
landowners every year (Figure 1). In years where survey returns were low, population numbers were low,
and vice versa. This emphasises the need to get as many surveys returned per year to make the data, and
thus the population estimate, as accurate as possible.
All private landowners who have oribi on their property are urged to conduct oribi counts annually in
September and to consistently submit their numbers to the OWG.
This helps in determining trends in different areas and gives an overall trend of the oribi population in
South Africa. This information will provide a more accurate picture of oribi populations and thus better
direct long-term conservation initiatives and management practices.
Figure 1 Oribi population in South Africa from 1998 – 2013 based on survey returns. Oribi population
number is related to the number of returns received each year by the OWG from private landowners. Data
from OWG database.
Oribi survey forms are available on request from [email protected] or at
https://www.ewt.org.za/TGSP/oribi.html
Also please report all illegal hunting with dogs to 086 167 2226 or to [email protected]
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NCT TREE FARMING
Want to enjoy the financial benefits and returns of tree farming but don’t have the
resources to manage one? NCT Tree Farming may be the answer.
NCT Members, who prefer not to manage their own plantations, are able to purchase the
management services and expertise which are tailor-made to suit each individual client’s
needs.
NCT Tree Farming supplies a total management package which includes the handling of all
forestry operations, financial services, administration, marketing and the employment of
suitable staff.
SERVICES OFFERED INCLUDE
• Effective on-the-ground management • Advanced financial and administration services
• Planning services.
Prior to the management of a farm, a management committee is set where both parties
control the contract. This committee meets as often as is necessary to facilitate and ensure
the sustainable management of the estate.
NCT Tree Farming (Pty) Limited, PO Box 1445, Pietermaritzburg 3200
Telephone (033) 8978500 * Fax (033) 8978501 * www.nctforest.com
Tree Farming Profile
Lunga Tshangisa is the estate manager at the Harding Town Board forestry
management scheme owned by the Umuziwabantu municipality.
He grew up in rural Pondoland outside Port St Johns and completed his matric
in 2004 at Port St Johns High. Because of a lack of funds and opportunities, Lunga
joined his mother who was employed at NCT’s Baynesfield Estate in search of
employment. He later also became employed on the estate.
In 2006, he received a bursary from NCT to study forestry at the Nelson Mandela
Metropolitan University (NMMU) George Campus. Lunga did not disappoint.
He obtained his diploma in 2008 and was appointed junior Forester under the
supervision of Ed Hayter in Greytown managing various schemes such as Eyethu, Hamvee and
Ushukela. Lunga gained vast experience in various aspects of timber farming from managing small
contractors, transport and liaising with the customers and communities. Lunga is focused and
determined to achieve: in 2011 he obtained his B. tech in forestry from NMMU and in 2012 was
promoted to estate manager at Harding.
Lunga regards himself as a hard worker who likes a job to get done. “I like to deliver what is
expected of me so I expect the same from my subordinates,” he confesses.
“I am happiest when everybody is happy, when the employee is satisfied with his/her needs,
when the contractor/supplier has been paid and management is satisfied,” he says with a big smile.
He believes he still has a lot to learn and to deliver to NCT. He wants to add value rather than
be a burden to the organisation. “I enjoy the culture of NCT; I’m left to manage issues that suit the
dynamics of my area,” expresses Lunga.
When not at work, Lunga enjoys a game of soccer and spends quality time with his family: wife,
Makhosi, and their two-year-old son, Prince Bantu and six-month old daughter, Qhawekazi. They
bring joy and completeness to his life.
Lunga is a true family man who keeps close ties with his parents and siblings back home.
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Community combats fires
With the fire season high on the
agenda at many timber plantations,
the Willowfontein community
of Pietermaritzburg, bordering
Baynesfield, has taken the initiative to
prevent run-away fires.
Peter Odell, NCT’s forester at
Baynesfield Estate was approached
by Robert Mncwabe, Simon Mkhize
and Mnyalezwa Cingo to assist with
fire-fighting equipment. It appears
that builders in the community clear
areas for construction and unilaterally
burn the open grasslands. This results
in fires spreading to homesteads and
trees on the plantation.
New appointments
James Stegen was appointed
to NCT’s board in July. He is a
current director of UCL Company
Ltd and an alternate NCT
representative on the FSA general
committee. James is a third
generation NCT member from
Greytown, with his grandfather
having originally joined the cooperative some 57 years ago.
James Stegen
Appointed to the NCT board
Anash Lutchminarain
Software developer, IT Services
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2 0 1 4 Justin James Advertising
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