Sawmilling South Africa Logo

SSA – April 2023 Newsletter


Logo Icon Orange from Sawmilling South Africa

Read the full newsletter HERE

The Easter break and April long weekends are behind us, so it comes as no surprise that production levels at our mills are on the low side. Prolonged holiday periods are unfortunately not the only reason for this decline and hearing from up-country millers, it is clear that there are no immediate signs of relief.

Be that as it may, there is always a silver lining to be found in the news coming out of our sector, and this month is no exception.

The much-admired and respected Merensky Timber, a leading figure in the forestry and sawmilling industry since the late 1920s, has made a major announcement concerning a new and exciting phase in its development.

In the excerpt below, Merensky’s CEO, Dr Johan de Graaf, outlines the purpose and potential of this strategic development, which heralds significant positives for the group. We wish Johan and his team everything of the best for the future.

 New investors and unbundling of Merensky Timber

“Interest in sustainable plantations and renewable resources has been increasing in all countries around the world. Merensky Timber is the third-largest private plantation owner in Africa with a base of 65 000 hectares of pine and eucalyptus plantations and associated manufacturing facilities in South Africa. It is recognised, worldwide, as a pioneer of high-value eucalyptus logs and lumber, with a history of tree breeding and genetic improvements over more than half a century. It also supplies a range of Forestry Stewardship Council -certified forest products to meet the demand of African and global markets.

“Merensky Timber was approached by investors interested in acquiring a shareholding, and after careful consideration, we can now announce that we will be welcoming a new minority shareholder, Criterion Africa Forestry II, a joint venture between the African Forestry Fund II and the Dutch Development Bank.

“This investment unlocks the unbundling of Merensky Timber from Hans Merensky Holdings, and allows for a total equity package of up to R1.1 billion into Merensky Timber. The transaction is expected to be transformative as it will allow us to take on a range of growth and investment opportunities in forestry, biomass energy, downstream processing, and nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.

“The new investment is fully aligned with the purpose, values, and strategy of Merensky Timber. It will support the role that forests play in the natural environment, enhance development impact in rural communities, and enable inclusive growth opportunities.”

Well, we certainly can’t top that news so until next month, cheers!
And don’t forget to keep cutting straight and drying flat.

  • Our next Talking Timber webinar will take place on Tuesday 6 June, 12:30 – 14:00 focusing on certification. We will be sending out the registration link in the next week. (To catch up on the others, you can find them on our website.
  • SSA Annual General Meeting on 21 June 2023.
Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa

Tags :


Share On :