On page 6 of the previous Newsletter (dated June 2016) we discussed the problem that has developed since the gazetting of the regulations by the Department of Labour (DoL) relating to the “National Code of Practice for the Training Providers of Lifting machine Operators” as contained in Notice R539, dated 24 June 2015. In essence, DoL is refusing to recognise certificates issued by FP&M SETA accredited training providers who have undertaken training on 3 FP&M SETA accredited Unit Standards (Bell three-wheel loader – unit standards 117052 & 117047 and knuckle boom loaders – unit standard 117046). DoL insists that such training must be accredited by TETA alone.

This creates serious contention between our members (the training providers) and our clients (grower companies) in that it appears as if members are providing training which is not accredited and legally adequate.

As a service to our members the FITPA Exco has taken it upon ourselves to address this issue at national level, to which end the Chair person engaged FP&M Seta CEO Ms Felleng Yende, via the forestry board member, Mr Roger Godsmark of FSA.

In essence we have proposed two options to our good colleagues from FP&M Seta:

  • liaising with DoL to get them to recognise the three FP&M SETA accredited Unit Standards in question; and
  • liaising with TETA to get them to sign an MoU with FP&M SETA regarding these Unit Standards and for them to give recognition to FP&M training providers accredited in terms of these specific Unit Standards

As an association we appreciate the commitment of Ms Felleng and her team in resolving this issue withal expediency. Developments will be shared with members as they unfold.

CMO Conferencing

Planning is well underway for Focus on Forestry 2017, organised by CMO, NMMU and the ICFR.

Focus on Forestry will now be presented every second year – alternating between KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga, South Africa. Hosting Focus every second year will allow us to offer you an event that will add more value from South Africa in particular and Africa in general, and allow equipment manufacturers and service providers to invest in good exhibitions and field demonstrations.

Focus on Forestry now has a wider scope of including silviculture, fire management and forest engineering.

The 2017 theme is: “Harvesting, silviculture and fire management systems for a restructured forest industry”

Focus on Forestry 2017 is a larger and improved conference, exhibition and demo, aimed at the entire forestry value chain and caters for forestry role-players from across the Africa. Our target market remains primarily for the forestry manager, contractor, equipment supplier and related role-players.

Date: 19 to 21 of April 2017

Location: KwaZulu Natal (close to Pietermaritzburg), South Africa

For any sponsorship queries, please contact Andrew Mc Ewan at

For any registration queries, please contact Nontethelelo Ramantswana at

We look forward to seeing you all on 19 to 21 April 2017!

QCTO Course Development

Feedback on the development of forestry qualifications are as follows:

The below list is of qualifications which have been forwarded to the QCTO for registration:

  • Supervisor
  • Forman
  • Harvesting
  • Safety Officer
  • Chainsaw qualification

The next two qualifications to be developed are:

  • Silviculture machinery
  • Fire Boss

New Minimum Wages for Farm & Forestry Workers W.E.F. 1 March 2017

Details of the new minimum wages for farm and forestry workers which will become effective from 1 March 2017.

Given the current formula used to determine mid-cycle new minimum wages, (i.e. CPI excluding owners’ equivalent rent published in December 2016, plus 1%) the new minimum wage will increase by 8% to:

R 3 001.13  per month
R     692.62  per week
R     138.39  per day (based on 9 hours work)
R      15.39  per hour