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June : FSA Annual Report 2014

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3 June, 2015

FSA Annual Report 2014

Forward by the Chair

In writing the foreword of last year's Annual Report, our then Chairperson alluded to a more positive outlook than what our Industry had been used to for the previous five years. This sentiment appears to have been correct when one looks at the various statistics which give us an indication of the state of our Forestry Industry. Roundwood volumes increased by 9% compared to 2013 across all products with improved sales being experienced by both our pulpwood and sawmilling members. This, coupled with a weakening Rand, brought much needed foreign exchange to our exporters and our country. While this was all going on, Forestry South Africa was tirelessly working on a multitude of fronts in the interests of its diverse membership. One only needs to read this Report to understand the level of involvement and effort from our small staff complement as well as dedicated members from various sectors of our Industry.

One of the most exciting developments of 2014 was the huge boost to our Research and Development efforts by the support from DST's Sector Innovation Fund. This allowed our Industry's Research Advisory Committee to kick up a few gears and also resulted in the appointment of Dr Ronald Heath as FSA's Research Director. Under Ronald's leadership, our R&D efforts have taken great strides forward and it is a pleasure to have him on board.

With transformation and BBBEE a very important topic for any business in South Africa, I would like to commend the efforts of Michael Peter in particular, as well as Industry representatives Viv, Themba and Watson in the process of aligning our sector codes to the Dti's generic codes, as well as their involvement in the overall management of the Forest Sector Charter Council. Due to their positive engagements with Government, all indications are that our Industry is amongst the front-runners in this department.

When I wrote the foreword for this Annual Report three years ago I stated that, in my opinion, the massive decrease in volumes of timber transported by rail was one of the greatest disasters of the last decade. At that stage, FSA representatives were striving to bring the situation back from a point of no return. This having been said back then, how satisfying it is to report that the last two years has seen substantial increases in volumes of timber railed on the Thut' ithlati branch lines. Congratulations and many thanks must go to Roger Godsmark and other Industry representatives on the FSA Transport Committee as well as senior management of Transnet Freight Rail for this success. Most believe that even more successes can be achieved on this front, however, and we as FSA will continue to strive to achieve these.

2014 saw two new members join our organisation. We welcome these companies into our fold and hope that more players in our Industry will see the benefits of full participation in the future. To the existing members - many thanks for your continued support of FSA, both financial and in kind by your representative's participation in our various structures.

I have already mentioned some staff member's names but I would like to also thank Norman and Nathi for their outstanding efforts on the Business Development front, as well as Muriel, Judy, Precious and Bethuel for the vital roles they play in the administration of FSA. My sincere thanks also to the members of the Executive Committee and the General Committee of FSA for their support. And lastly, to all our members, enjoy this Report: it is a really great read. All the best for 2015.

Murray Mason
Forestry South Africa

Read the full FSA Annual Report : HERE

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