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January 2016
Sawmilling South Africa News
Welcome all to 2016, we hope that you all had a good rest and are fighting fit and ready to take on the new year. By all accounts it is going to be a tough one and we wish you all the very best. Last year did end on a better note than was expected for sawmillers and so we hope that that inertia will continue, however all the experts are predicting a tough year ahead. 2016 is a year in which there will be local elections and we all know how disruptive that can be; we also have a significant weakening of the Rand and, as we have just heard, we can expect double digit electricity increases. All this and more means that we will be in for a bumpy ride, but sawmillers know all about those as we have had to endure plenty of rough rides in the past.
We start the year off with the confirmation of the official appointment of the Deputy Director General (DDG) Forest and Natural Resources Management (FNRM), Dr Tau.  We have an established working relationship with Dr Tau from both during the period in which he was acting DDG and prior to that as well. He has demonstrated his commitment to serving the forest industry and we believe that the formalisation of his appointment will enable him to further strengthen his support for our sector. May we take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Tau and wish him every success in his appointment.
As this is our first newsletter of the year, we would like to bring to your attention one or two important dates for later in 2016. Firstly SSA’s AGM will be held on the 9th June at the usual place, SAFCA House in JHB. This will be an important AGM again this year as we are still to finalise the revised association fee structure. Also, at the same time on the 9th& 10th,  it will be the  WoodEx show in JHB and we are told that 2016 will see expanded participation from all aspects of the “Wood Industry”. This will not be one to be missed and we hope that the syncronisation of the two dates will mean a good opportunity for sawmillers to attend the WoodEx show.
Other important dates to diarise are the 12/13/14/15th September as this is when we will be visiting the regions for the annual information sessions.  For those of you closer to the forestry side of things, the FSA AGM is scheduled for the 12 May at Midmar dam in the KZN midlands.
We would also like to take the opportunity to remind you to visit our website from time to time, as it is updated regularly on many aspects of both the local and international sawmilling scene, including potential positions for those who are in search of alternative opportunities in our sector.
Also a reminder to you all that we welcome any news that you may want to share with your fellow sawmillers, so if you have any please get in touch with us and we will gladly publish it here.

Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa
National News
South Africa: Why Managing the Health Risks Posed By Pesticides Is Fraught With Problems
Are pesticides really dangerous? Surely the government wouldn't register anything that is highly hazardous to humans?
read more
Farmers battling drought
Farmers have their highest-ever debt with South African banks of more than 125 billion rand ($7.5 billion) at a time when a drought, caused by the lowest rainfall on record, is withering cornfields and discouraging the planting of crops.
read more
Bringing Africa’s artisanal timber sector into the formal mix
Whilst governments around the world typically do all they can to support small and medium sized enterprises, there is one industry in one region that is largely ignored – and in many cases criminalised
. read more
International News
Global trade of softwood lumber increased in 2015
Both domestic and export prices of softwood lumber have fallen in the US, Europe and China during the 3Q/15, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.
read more
High consistency foaming process for ULDCs
As the name implies, ultra-low density composites (ULDC) encompass composite materials that have a very low weight per unit volume, due to their open cell structure; this is a significant advantage in certain applications, such as thermal and acoustic insulation materials in construction and other industries, and protective packaging.
read more
Novel scanning technology to assess wood qualities
Developed and built in-house, Scion’s new ‘DiscBot’ is a novel scanning technology designed to assess a range of wood properties that affect the quality of sawn timber and other end products.
read more

Corvallis company developing formaldehyde-free adhesive
A Corvallis startup is making strides to be the first to introduce a formaldehyde-free adhesive used to manufacture particleboard and medium density fiberboard.
read more
Wood pulp to make edible noodles?
Cellulose-based pulp may be the building block of paper and packaging, but what about a food ingredient?
read more
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Smile :-) it's free...
The mother of a 17-year-old girl was concerned that her daughter was having sex. Worried the girl might become pregnant and adversely impact the family's status, she consulted the family doctor. The doctor told her that teenagers today were very willful and any attempt to stop the girl would probably result in rebellion. He then told her to arrange for her daughter to be put on birth control and until then, talk to her and give her a box of condoms. Later that evening, as her daughter was preparing for a date, the mother told her about the situation and handed her a box of condoms.
The girl burst out laughing and reached over to hug her mother, saying, 'Oh mum! You don't have to worry about that! I'm dating Susan!'
A man went to church one day and afterwards he stopped to shake the preacher's hand.
He said, 'Vicar, I'll tell you, that was a
damned fine sermon. Damned good!' The Vicar said,
'Thank you sir, but I'd rather you didn't use profanity.' The man said, 'I was so damned impressed with that sermon I put $5000 in the offering plate!' The Vicar said, 'No shit?
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