February 2013: Bertus urges all players in the wood treatment industry to join the South African Wood Preservers’ Association.
“It’s important to have local representatives who can serve the industry, acting on your behalf on certain issues and furthering the interests of us all,” he says.
Bruce Breedt, the Executive Director of SAWPA, says the main objective of the organisation is to promote wood preservation and the use of properly treated wood, but the organisation aids its members in many other ways.
Membership of the collective counts in companies’ favour in their dealings with government, and SAWPA acts as a facilitator and spokeperson on behalf of its members on issues affecting the wood preservation industry, for example on issues regarding standards and regulatory requirements, says Bruce.
SAWPA is also a source of information and technical expertise for engineers, architects, contractors and the general public regarding wood preservation from many perspectives – technical, health, safety and environmental.
Recent SAWPA achievements include ensuring changes were made to the pest control registration regulations, to ensure that wood preservation is better defined and that registration criteria are appropriate; SAWPA’s involvement in lowering the pending NRCS levies from R1.72 / m3 to R1.04 / m3, and a programme for disseminating health and safety precautions to informal settlements in Cape Town, where treated wood waste is sometimes used for heating and cooking.
“SAWPA is a good platform where the industry can come together, for discussions that further the interests of us all,” says Bertus.