Anti Timber Theft Forum

Limiting the losses

The theft of timber and equipment is a serious problem in the Forestry Industry and it requires a collaborative effort by all affected parties to minimise the problem. The FSA Executive Committee took a decision that the issue of timber and equipment theft were best handled at a local / regional level by local grower representatives and that FSA should concentrate on dealing with the problem at a national level (i.e. through high level interactions with SAPS and the Department of Justice). To this end grower representatives have formed various regional Anti Timber Theft Forums (ATTFs), where issues relating to timber theft are dealt with on a regional basis.

Key objectives

  • Establish regional ATTFs to serve as a platform where issues relating the theft of timber and equipment can be discussed between members so as to develop appropriate responses to try and combat this scourge.
  • Increase awareness of the seriousness of the problem amongst the legal fraternity (Magistrates and Prosecutors) as well as local members of the SAPS.
  • Determine the extent of timber and equipment theft in terms of the volume and value of losses through interaction with FSA members and ATTFs.
  • Using the above information to lobby the Department of Justice / SAPS to take the matter seriously and to look into the possibility of establishing dedicated Timber Theft Units within the SAPS.

The various ATTFs meet as and when needed – normally every quarter. These meetings are convened and chaired by Industry representatives (e.g. asset protection managers) in the regions in which the Forums operate. Representatives from the South African Police Services and private security companies are also invited to these meetings.

The overall objective of the Forums is to share local information about timber and equipment theft issues and to implement local strategies to minimise such incidents.