Forestry South Africa
Forestry value chains authorised to start production
Ministers Dlamini-Zuma and Patel announced very encouraging highlights captured in the Schedule of Services for the phasing out of lockdown.
We’re delighted to see that paper and construction materials (which includes trusses, engineered wood and board) have been included at 100% of workforce and 50% respectively. We’re also pleased to note that all other manufacturing can commence with 20% of their workforce. Unfortunately, there still isn’t great relief for Construction, but we expect that will be one of the next sectors to get further relief. Below, please see a summary of the relief for different sectors:
- All measures are effective only from 1 May.
- If the risk-adjusted control measures are not strictly enforced, we may be forced to return to Phase 5 lockdown restrictions.
- Inter-provincial travel will only be allowed for those who are allowed to return home/to work because their sectors are allowed to resume operations.
- There is no differentiation of restrictions on movements based on the various infection levels of the country i.e. the whole county is in Phase 4, but there may be a time where different phases of lockdown are imposed for different parts of the country.
- Any cloth material can be used as a mask if no medical masks are available.
- Businesses must maintain strict adherence to public health instructions like daily screening of staff, social distancing, sanitisation and mass testing for companies with more than 500 employees. The Department of Health will gazette further measures.
- Staff transportation vehicles must be sanitised before and after each journey.
- Businesses should continue to avoid using biometric scanners or ensure that they are sanitised after every use.
There seems to be some uncertainty about staffing levels for our existing value chains. These remain unchanged by the most recent announcement as they have been operating as essential goods and services. As an example, a sawmill that was using a full staff complement to produce sawn timber for different products including pallets for food packing, does not need to reduce its staff to 50% just because they are now able to sell timber for roof trusses. This will only apply to plants that were closed-up until now because they weren’t producing any essential goods. The same would apply to, for example, pole producers.
Please also note as per the Risk-adjusted Approach referred to that sectors are required to have sector plans for mitigation and management. FSA have started this week to collate this for the subsectors and we will circulate these for comment as soon as possible.