The forestry industry is a significant contributor to the national economy, accounting for around 1% of its GDP. Forestry operations could however have significant impact on the natural environment, which could compromise both ecosystems functioning as well as the sustainability of the industry. Improved and responsible logging practices is key to promoting sustainable timber extraction and long-term ecosystem health.
Logging plant operators work as part of a logging team. Due to the dangerous nature of work, they are required to wear protective gear. Weather conditions also determine the work of logging plant operators.
Logging plant operators need a basic understanding of tree species and the capability to operate varied types of tree felling equipment and machinery. They will further benefit from:
Prepare and position logging equipment for operations
Drive logging machinery to transport logs from felling sites
Inspect equipment for safe and effective operation
Perform basic maintenance tasks on logging machinery
Logging plant operators can benefit from a General Education and Training or Further Education and Training Certificate in General Forestry or a National Certificate in Forestry (Silviculture) at National Qualifications Framework Level 1 to 4 offered at Opelong Business Institute, Uphiwe Skills Training College and the South African Forestry Company Limited. However, most training takes place on the job with a mentor.
Timber plantations and sawmill organisations.
Private forestry and preservation companies.