Thuthugani Contractors, part of the Arbor-care group, are recognised as experts in the field of silviculture and fire protection services specifically for the South African forestry industry. While not a training company, Thuthugani has been asked to assist with educating individuals keen to enter the forestry sector. Two students, Thamsanqa Shongwe and Mncedisi Cebekhulu from the company Inhlanzeko, have been under Thuthugani supervision from May to July this year, for the purpose of practical training and hands-on experience, starting with grass-roots matters such as preparing land for planting and maintaining the land through weeding. Fields of work/activities included:
- Chemical weed control (broadcast, spot and pre-plant spraying)
- Storage and handling of herbicide
- Understanding of herbicide labels
- Calibration of knapsack sprayers and herbicide (calculations)
- Application of herbicide in field
- Identification of targeted weeds
- Timing of controlling weeds (season/weather)
- Handling and servicing of knapsack sprayers
- Protective clothing for herbicide handlers as per toxicity of a specific herbicide.
- Conservation work (control of alien invasive weeds on open areas)
- Identification of alien invasive species (as listed on CARA list)
- Treatment of each weed specie (as per Mondi standard)
- Tools and PPE used on conservation ops.
- Herbicide application methods (cut stump, frilling and/or foliar).
- Forest fire protection
- Basic fire fighting
- Fire fighting tools/use of FF tools and protective clothing
- Fire safety
- Fire protection symposium/competition.
In addition to the local students who have been trained, Thuthugani has also helped train forestry workers from Arbor-care contracts in other African countries, and, should the need arise, the company is ready to undertake more hands-on training in the future.
Raymond Sibiya, director of Thuthugani Contractors, says, “It is important to share our experience with those who are interested in entering the field of silviculture. Thuthugani has helped share our expertise and knowledge with the students and we wish them well for their future.”