Reason’s For Possible Shortages in S.A. Pine And Possible Solutions Thereof

Reason’s For Possible Shortages in S.A. Pine And Possible Solutions Thereof

Online Building noticed the lack of availability of S.A. Pine especially in the thicker sections, longer lengths and odd increment.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • As per the Business Day, 13 March article by Colleen Gokoapproximately 20 years ago Government started putting in place stringent restrictions in the issue of Forestry& Plantation permits. The reason was impending water shortage, the result 20 years on isshortages in S.A. Pine timber.
  • In an article by the George Herald dated 7 November 2018, Michael Peter, executive director of Forestry South Africa, identified this year and last year’s fires in the Southern Cape having a further blow on the Forestry and Plantation Industry.

Peter said in last year’s fires in the Southern Cape, 17 600 hectares of commercial timber plantations burnt, of which 12 700 hectares were totally destroyed. This will cause an annual loss in the Southern Cape timber industry of sawn logs worth R121-million, which would have produced sawn timber worth R285-million. “To replant the area will cost R90-million. A total of 2 000 jobs were lost as a result of last year’s fires.”


Fires and limitation on Forestry licences is sure to impact the construction swectorexpecially when considering that 70% of our timber plantations solely supply the construction industry. It is expected that South Africa will have to start import more than half of their timber requirements within the next two decades. This will surely drive up costs.

Possible Solutions:

According to Agri News’s article, June 23, 2017 Sawmilling South Africa executive director Roy Southey highlights the following possible solutions to help with the shortages in S.A. Pine.


  • Requested that Government look into the issuing of more Plantation licences by looking for revised economically and environmentally friendly balance between water and timber shortages
  • More efficient use of a tree. Currently only 49% of a tree is used, of which 40% of that is only used in the structural industry, for example more use of finger jointed timber.
  • Look for alternative options to S.A. Pine such as Biligom. In an article published by S.A Forestry Online in Jan 2015, the benefits of Biligom initially meant for the informal market areoutlined. Notable benefits are:
  1. The growth cycle of Biligom is 6 to 8 years while pine saw timber is 25 to 35 years.
  2. More interestingly, Biligom is graded S7, as opposed to S.A. Pine’s S5 which means 28% less timber is required in a roof making it a cheaper alternative.

Pease contact Online Building for more information on Biligom

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