Forestry in South Africa
Monday, May 17, 2021

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Business Directory / TIMBER PRODUCTS / Softwoods /
Telephone : (011) 450 1230
Website :
E-mail :
Province : Gauteng
Country : South Africa
Postal Address : P.O. Box 2360, Bedford View, 2008
Physical Address : Hans Merensky Office Park, 32 van Buuren Road, Block C, Bedfordview, 2008
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Company Profile

Merensky Timber – a leading supplier of sustainable lumber and logs

With a total of approximately 65 000 hectares across South Africa, our plantations are among the largest privately-managed plantations on a saw-log rotation in South Africa. Lumber is processed at our own sawmills and supplied directly or from depots located in Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town.

Merensky is recognised as the pioneer of commercially-grown sawlog-rotation Eucalyptus, with many decades of continuous genetic improvements resulting in world-class low split logs.. Sawlog-plantation Eucalyptus is a sustainable alternative to dwindling tropical hardwood supply. High quality kiln-dried Eucalyptus lumber are produced at Merensky’s Northern Timbers sawmill in Tzaneen, for use in joinery and furniture manufacture. Merensky is also a producer of wet-off-saw timber, logs and untreated poles for various other applications

Merensky’s softwood operation, Singisi Forest Products, comprises Pine plantations and three sawmills strategically located in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. SFP produces logs and quality kiln-dried Pine lumber for construction, furniture, joinery and other uses. All structural lumber is graded in accordance with South African National Standards (SANS).

A world-class optimising drymill has been established at the Kliprivier business park close to Alberton in Gauteng. The facility has specialised equipment that non-destructively grades structural lumber to required specifications and has the ability to produce finger-joint lumber in any lengths with high dimensional stability.

All Merensky-grown lumber carries the prestigious Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification. Within the Group, there are two Forest Management (FM) Certificates which operate under the following licence numbers:

  • Merensky Timber (Pty) Ltd t/a Northern Timbers: Licence No FSC®C010117
  • Singisi Forest Products t/a Merensky: Licence No FSC®C013164

There are also two Chain of Custody (CoC) Multi-site Certificates which operate under the following licence numbers:

  • Singisi Forest Products t/a Merensky: Licence No FSC®C111662
  • Merensky Timber (Pty) Ltd t/a Northern Timbers: Licence No FSC®C021216

Our history
Merensky Timber traces its roots back to 1929, when Dr Hans Merensky purchased the neglected Westfalia Estate and started to experiment and develop Eucalyptus sawlog plantations. The Northern Timbers sawmill was a mining timber mill at the time and later developed to produce kiln dried lumber. Today we are globally recognised as pioneers of Eucalyptus as a sustainable alternative to endangered hardwoods.

Our founder, Dr Hans Merensky, was born in Botshabelo in 1871. Hebecame a legend in his time - a world-famous prospector and geologist, humanitarian, devotee of nature, afforestation and agriculture and a visionary.

In a brilliant career of close on 50 years of active field work, Dr Merensky achieved an international reputation as an outstanding analytical geologist. His major discoveries of platinum, diamonds, chrome, gold and phosphate ores will long be remembered, and his conservation work left a legacy for today’s generations to appreciate.

By establishing a Trust in 1949, Dr Merensky hoped to combine the two things dearest to him: first, the assured perpetuation of his work on Westfalia Estate’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry resources, so that the great strides he had made with water and soil conservation, the reclaiming and revitalisation of the soil, and the welfare of his staff, could be continued. Second, South Africans had to benefit from the activities of the Trust, which in 1973 became the Hans Merensky Foundation.

The Foundation provides bursaries for the education and training of students, and grants and loans to individuals or institutions to carry out research in fields including forestry and agriculture. This is the heart of the Foundation – an instruction that the Trustees have carried out since inception. Dr Merensky died in October 1952.

Most recently, the Foundation funded a new academic research programme at Stellenbosch University to better understand wood formation in Eucalyptus trees, continuing its long term commitment to the sustainability and advancement of the industry.

Social Responsibility and BBBEE
In keeping with the humanitarian personal beliefs of Dr Merensky, we have developed a strong people-oriented culture and corporate philosophy which serve as the basis on which our employees are managed and developed. Merensky is committed to providing quality training for its staff. This training serves to improve the general skill levels of all employees.

We have successfully empowered over 164 communities in the areas in which we operate, by way of ownership and employment as well as social, economic, enterprise and supplier development.

Employees are encouraged to improve their skills and qualifications by taking adult literacy courses, obtaining school-leaving certificates and achieving tertiary qualifications. Both employees and their children are eligible for bursaries towards tertiary education. Crèches are provided for employees' children in some areas.

In some areas clinics are provided for employees and their immediate families with company-contracted doctors available. Family planning and health care training (including AIDS education) are some of the programmes offered.

Think Logs and Lumber, Think Merensky Timber

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