The Forest21 Dissemination Team makes final arrangements to host a stakeholder engagement between Forest21 and the Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, DFFE. The Deputy Minister is responsible for forestry and officiated during the launch of Forest21 in 2020. She is very supportive of Forest21 objectives which speak to the key aspects of forestry transformation in South Africa.
The engagement will be attended by the university executive led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke and his Deputy Vice Chancellors. The Deputy Minister will be accompanied by the DDG Forestry Management and Development, Ms Pumeza Nodada and other officials. The Industry team will be led by the Forestry South Africa Executive Director, Mr Michael Peters and managers from SAFCOL and the industry.
The event will take place at the beautiul TUT events centre, Ditsela Place on the 24th of February 2023.
The event comes at a time when TUT has submitted its application for a fresh and innovative forestry qualification due to
begin in January 2024. The meeting which is hosted by TUT will provide a mid-term report to the Deputy Minister whose department is an associate member of Forest21.
The stakeholder engagement will also provide an opportunity for TUT to present its planned forestry qualifications and place on the table some of the important needs such as access to forestry plantations in Mpumalanga, that the Department own and control. Important issues such as collaboration in the teaching and learning, as well as spaces for internships and learnerships for TUT students will be discussed.
The participation of industry as led by Forestry South Africa, is also worth celebrating as healthy collaboration between academia, industry and the Department creates important environment for transformation, growth and sustainability of forestry in South Africa. As with other aspects of the economy, forestry also suffers slow transformation, poor community capacity to enter the value chain, low absorption of graduates into industry, as well as low investment for local forestry development. The stakeholder engagement will bring up all these issues with an intent to find solutions.