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Executive Director’s Report / October Newsletter 2023


Roy Southey - Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa

Read the full October Newsletter HERE

Wow! Another month down, and now we are certainly looking at the downhill run to the year-end. Can you believe it?
It would be remiss of me not to mention the ‘green and gold’ high that our country is experiencing with the Springboks’ victorious win at the Rugby World Cup. Let’s hope our beloved Proteas can have a similar success in India!
Although there is not much change in the fortunes of us sawmillers, there are some reports coming in from the districts that sales volumes have picked up slightly. We think that this is attributable to the usual year-end uptick and little more capacity that has come off the industry in recent times due some mill closures and slowdowns.

We should not underestimate the boost to the South African psyche and the wonderful shot in the arm from the Springboks. My, what a shot that was. A hat trick of one-point wins in three weeks was a bit tough on our hearts and nerves, I must admit.
If we can carry this resilience and ‘vatbyt’ mentality into November, December and the new year, I believe we could have a better year end than expected.
October saw the hosting of the annual SASDEA conference in Johannesburg which was attended by 21 of our saw doctors and suppliers. While we would like to see more practising saw doctors attend these conferences, I know that those who were present certainly gained from the many industry experts.
On the topic of saw doctoring, we need to give you a brief update on the state of the trade development for saw doctors. Dianne Randal has been working on this project together with FP&M Seta, QCTO and NAMB for the past three years and she is slowly making headway despite the constant moving of the goalposts by authorities and the ever-increasing financial challenges.
We are happy to report that we are in the last leg of the process and soon the “Community of Experts” who have been tirelessly working on the assessment criteria with Dianne will complete their task, after which we can submit the documentation to the authorities.
The industry Export Working Group (EWG) which was formed after the AGM earlier this year has been hard at work. We will be sending a representative to the Inter-Africa Trade Fair (IATF) in Cairo, Egypt within the next two weeks. As the SSA representative, Thomas Craddock will be tasked with establishing contacts and gaining knowledge of the timber usage and demands of various African countries. We are told that there will be a sizeable representation from African countries and companies at the IATF, so we are expecting great insight and market intelligence about continental opportunities. This  information will be shared in the form of a report from Thomas with all SSA members on his return.
We have also created a LinkedIn page so please follow us if you are on this platform. If you have any shareworthy articles, please share them with Samantha Choles.
We are planning to have one final Talking Timber webinar before the end of the year, so keep a look out for an email from Samantha with registration details. Don’t forget that you can find the past webinars here.
We have also added some content to our website, in particular a number of papers on our Research page.
Don’t forget to share any news that you would like published on our website with the team.
Well that’s it for this month. So until November, you guessed it?
Keep cutting straight and drying flat.
Until next time
Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa

Read the full October newsletter HERE

SourceSawmilling South Africa- October Newsletter 2023

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