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October 2015
Sawmilling South Africa News
We start this month off once again with some very sad news. October saw the passing of much loved and respected Butch James of White River. I don’t think that there is any sawmiller in SA who wasn’t touched by Butch at some time during his or her involvement in the industry. Butch spent many years in the employ of Nukor and ran the “Nelspruit” office. He was considered one of the countries leading experts on VK Debarkers and Vollmer saw sharpening equipment as well as a host of other equipment and systems. Sadly Butch passed away on the morning of 23rd October and so the sawmilling industry has lost another giant of the forest. Our heart felt condolences and prayers go out to the family at this difficult time.
Good news this month is that we (SSA) have been able to secure substantial funding from our FP&M SETA for the development and registration of trades and occupations in the sawmilling industry. These include a “trade” for saw-doctors and the registration of occupational qualifications for wet-mill, dry-mill, boiler & kilns, log yard and treating plant.  This is a most important step in the direction of skills training for our industry and we will be starting work on these aspects in the new year.
News from the market place is the best it has been for some time now with most millers reporting good demand for their products and most important of all, slightly stronger prices. This is despite the doom and gloom in the national economy and is put down to a stronger demand from the domestic building industry. With sawmilling capacity not showing any significant growth over the past few years this is not surprising.
An important development in the regulatory environment is the publication of the revised Forest Sector Codes in the Government Gazette. These have now entered the mandatory 90 day period for public comment. We urge all sawmillers to study these codes and to make comment if they feel the necessity to do so as this is the only chance you will have before the codes are written into law and all businesses are measured on them.
We encourage you all to visit our website which is updated on a regular basis and is full of interesting information which is usually of interest to the sawmilling fraternity.
National News
Round Log Online Auction
Tirhani Auctioneers are holding a round log online auction from 8am on Tuesday 17th November - 3pm on Thursday 19th November. Auction includes blackwood, ironwood, yellowood, stinkwood, hard pear and more. Contact Tsitso Setai on 082 575 1164 or to arrange a pre-viewing. read more
PG Bison forges ahead with investments in production capacity
Infrastructure developments of close to R600 million in its particleboard plants will ensure that international standards and production capacity can be maintained, says South Africa's leading diversified timber company PG Bison. read more
Carbon Tax Bill released by National Treasury
This week the long-awaited Carbon Tax Bill was released for comment by National Treasury (NT). Cabinet approved the publication of the Bill and noted that the carbon tax forms an integral part of the system for implementing government policy on climate change as outlined in the 2011 National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP) and the National Development Plan. read more

Government ‘cautiously optimistic’ due to improved energy supply
SOUTH Africa continues to face macroeconomic constraints, but the government is cautiously optimistic that the economy will return to growth largely due to a significantly improved electricity supply outlook and intense efforts by the state to boost investment. read more

Something starting to give’ in SA economy, 2017 offering some hope
It was “quite apparent that something was starting to give” in South Africa’s economy, said Citibank economist Gina Schoeman on Tuesday. read more
Turning a Profit on Wood Pallet Furniture
Wood pallets as raw lumber may not spring to mind when among seasoned furniture builders, but consumers love it, as a search for "pallet furniture" or a trip through Pinterest and Instagram will quickly reveal. read more
International News
British Columbia Invests $2.2 Million To Promote Wood in Buildings, Products
The British Columbia provincial government says it is investing $2.2 million in the Wood First program to promote the use of B.C. wood both locally and internationally, and help advance innovative wood-building systems and value-added wood products. read more
Meet DiscBot, our new wood quality detective
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
Highest global sawmilling earnings revealed
WOOD MARKETS' biennial global benchmarking survey (The 2015 edition of the Global Timber / Sawmill / Lumber-Sawnwood Cost Benchmarking Report) has continued to place the U.S. South as the highest margin sawmill region in North America - a place it has held since 2008 - as well as the top global earner in 2014 and into the first part of 2015. read more
High-tech timber: Universities, timber industry craft new product
Cross-laminated timber is touted as a high-tech, sustainable product developed by the Oregon State University College of Forestry, put to work by the University of Oregon's architecture school - and manufactured by D.R. Johnson Lumber in Riddle. read more
FT Architects' 4 Columns house features a traditional timber frame and minimal interior
The 4 Columns house is located 20 kilometres from central Tokyo, in a neighbourhood that was previously dominated by farmland and factories. read more
Wood reaches new heights: Cities across Canada turning to timber in construction
The condo industry is embracing the growth of wood frame construction. What does that mean for the prospective home buyer? read more
Ruthin timber firm out to support British wine sector
Clifford Jones Timber is finding that its fence posts are just as effective at supporting grape vines as they are for keeping livestock in. read more
More institutional investors committing capital to timber
Institutional investors are increasingly committing capital to timber, aiming to benefit from new investment markets overseas, Pensions & Investments (P&I) reported on 5 October. read more
Global sawmilling costs reviewed
We reported last week on the changing dynamics of currency exchange rates among the major importing and exporting countries of the world and how they have had huge impacts on delivered log and sawmill costs since 2014. read more
Job Vacancies
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On-line Sawmill Directory
List your sawmill for FREE in our on-line sawmill directory

New sawmill listings:
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To registration please contact Bronwyn Hayes on +27 (0)82 333 3112 or email
Smile :-) its free...
European Union Directive No. 456179

In order to bring about further integration with the single European currency, the Euro, all citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland must be made aware that the phrase
"Spending a Penny" is not to be used after 31 October 2015.  
From this date onwards, the correct term will be: "Euronating".

It is hoped that this will be a great relief to everyone. 
If you have any questions, just give me a tinkle.
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Tel: +27 21 712 1151
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