Michael Peter

mike@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)82 808 0425

Executive Director

Mike has 30 years experience in Forestry. He joined FSA in 2008 as Executive Director, after 18 years as a Director in the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. A seasoned negotiator and talented lobbyist, Mike has played a central role in negotiating changes to key legislation affecting the Industry and in leveraging tens of millions of Rand for the industry. His ability to think strategically and his passionate commitment to Industry and South Africa, have earned him the respect of a broad range of stakeholders in the Sector, both domestically and internationally. Mike’s love of the Industry, his understanding of the business, macro-economic and socio-political environment, make him highly suited to this challenging role. These attributes have helped develop FSA into the organisation that it is today.

Roles and responsibilities

Beyond the overarching responsibility for the strategic, operational, financial and human resources management of FSA, Mike has several specialist roles which he also plays in the land, transformation, government liaison, climate and carbon, water and communications arenas. He also represents the Industry in international forestry-related processes and dialogues and he previously chaired the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s Advisory Committee on Forestry.

Norman Dlamini

norman@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)81 017 0978

Director: Business Development

Norman joined FSA in 2013 after having worked for ten years in the forestry sector, which included stints with Sappi forests, the Chinese Agriculture Technical Mission and Sikanye Forest Services. Norman’s MBA and senior management certificate in International Business Leadership provide him with the leadership qualities and business acumen to develop, coordinate and manage various aspects of Forestry policy, including a variety of international and national partnership programmes. Norman’s entrepreneurial nature, passion for sustainable development and broad understanding of the forestry landscape, not only make him perfectly suited for his current role at FSA, but have also been critical in the formation and development of systems to aid the incorporation of small and medium-scale forest enterprises into mainstream forest sector affairs.

Roles and responsibilities

To manage the activities and resources of FSA’s Business Unit’s to ensure sector growth and development, by:

  • Providing leadership and co-ordination in policy and strategy formulation, and hence providing inputs into the Forestry Charter, Industry Plan of Action, Provincial Growth and Development Strategies, Agricultural Policy Action Plan, and Integrated Development Plans.
  • Interacting with internal and external sector stakeholders at all levels to facilitate sector growth and development.
  • Providing strategic and expert leadership in the negotiation, development, management, monitoring, and evaluation of international and national partnership programmes.
  • Designing, implementing and monitoring interventions to bring small and medium forest enterprises into the mainstream affairs of the forestry sector.
  • Overseeing management of human and capital resources and general administration of the Business Development Unit of Forestry South Africa.
  • Participating in key forestry forums’ meetings, workshops, learning groups, etc.

Ronald Heath

ronald@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)83 611 6946

Director: Research and Protection

Ronald joined FSA in 2014 with the establishment of its Research capacity. Along with a B-Tech degree in Forestry from Saasveld, MSc in Plant Pathology and Microbiology and PhD in Genetics from the University of Pretoria, his passion for forestry and his years working in the Forestry Branch in Government prior to joining FSA makes Ronald a valuable asset to FSA and its members. His research portfolio has grown to include forest protection, as has Ronald’s esteem in the research and protection landscape. Ronald represents FSA and its members on a number of national fora, committees and boards.

Roles and responsibilities

To manage the research and protection portfolio for the South African Forestry Sector, through the development and implementation of Forest Research and Development Strategy and Forest Protection Strategy, as well as Industry knowledge, Research and Protection Programmes. He also monitors and analyses legislation and actively engages with Government on matters relating to forestry Research, Development and Protection.


Suzanne Blows

suzanne@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)83 462 6581

Finance and Administrative Manager

Suzanne joined FSA in 2015, with over 10 years’ finance/accounting experience, from Bookkeeper to Finance Manager and Accountant, across all administrative functions.  Suzanne has astute business acumen and is confident to multitask within an accurate, high volume output environment. Her commitment, confidence, tenacity, attention to detail and a strong work ethic make her a valuable addition to FSA and its members.

Roles and responsibilities

Suzanne is responsible for performing and maintaining proper Financial Management and Controls within the organisation. This position will be responsible for all bookkeeping and accounting, HR, payroll and some Company Secretary functions.


Judy Dowsett

judy@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)84 556 9234

PA to the Director and Office Manager

After matriculating, Judy spent three years in the typing pool of the Department of Hospital Services before being offered a junior typist position at the South African Timber Growers Association (SATGA) by the late Bruce Ferguson, then SATGA Director. This was in January 1982 and she has not looked back! While so much changed in the industry during Judy’s 37 years of service, including the name in 2002, her passion for forestry and dedication to all those in the industry remains constant.

Roles and responsibilities

Judy acts as Personal Assistant to Micheal Peter and supports the Operations, Business Development and Research & Protection Directors, Development and Operations Managers and consultants. In addition, responsible for the administrative officer role within the Pietermaritzburg office, which involves everything from reception to petty cash-handling and secretarial services. The role involves coordinating all FSA meeting logistics, including the our annual Regional Group meetings and Annual General Meeting.

Precious Singo

precious@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)72 708 3734

Receptionist Johannesburg Office

Precious began as a cleaner, but quickly progressed up the career ladder thanks to her diligence, hard work and dedication. Precious’ exceptional people skills, unflappable nature and organisational ability, along with the ‘Higher certification in Office Administration”, achieved in 2017, make Precious an indispensable member of FSA Johannesburg.

Roles and responsibilities

The first port of call at FSA’s Johannesburg Offices, Precious liaises with a variety of sector stakeholders from members to Government ministers and the media. The role involves receiving visitors and manning the phone lines and directing calls.

Nathi Ndlela

nathi@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)71 680 9515

Business Development Manager (BDM)

Nathi joined FSA in 2004, as regional facilitator through a UK Department for International Development (DFID) programme, tasked with bringing South Africa’s emerging timber growers to the mainstream, commercial forestry. Aided by his Masters in Policy and Development Studies and backed by his dedication and drive, Nathi’s deep understanding of the challenges (and solutions) faced by the industry – in particular it’s emerging growers – make him a vital member of the FSA team.

Roles and responsibilities

Nathi serves as development liaison for small-scale timber growers, disseminating information to all timber growers and identifying and maintaining relationships with grower communities at large. While managing and updating the National Growers Database.

He seeks build working relationships with industry players, acting as strategic partners to small-scale timber growers, as well as, establishing and strengthening institutional structures of timber growers in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape.

Capacity building, training and skills development initiatives are a key part of his role. Which includes, being responsible for overseeing and managing relationships with training service providers, as well as managing project between FSA and FP&M Seta. The role also involves, making applications for external funding and acting as the primary contact for service providers during the implementation of skills training programmes.

Finally, to incorporate mainstream forestry development into government planning processes, by representing FSA, the forest sector and individual growers at various municipal and local government planning meetings and development forums.

Francois Oberholzer

francois@forestrysouthafrica.co.za | 0027 (0)82 850 4330

Operations Manager

Francois holds a BSc. Forestry degree from the University of Stellenbosch. He subsequently obtained a Master’s degree in Forest Engineering from Oregon State University (USA) in 2001. His career started at Sappi Forests before working for Forest Engineering South Africa for seven years, where he was instrumental in the development of the Road Transport Management System (RTMS) and the Performance Based Standards (PBS) system, both of which are designed to improve road transport safety and productivity.  In 2007, Francois was involved in the establishment of College for Machine Operators (CMO), including the Mechanised Training Centre. He later joined Timber Logistics in 2011 as Operations Manager and then moving to Tekwani Sawmills in 2012 as Logistics Manager. Francois joined FSA in November 2018, where he is currently enjoying the challenges and successes as Operations Manager. Francois lives in Pietermaritzburg with his wife and daughter.

Roles and responsibilities

FSA Operations Manager reports to the Operations Director. The roles and responsibilities are as follows:

1) Working closely with the Operations Director in performing the following functions:

  • The maintenance of and continual updating of the Association’s comprehensive database on all aspects of the South African Forestry and Forest Products Industry.
  • The monitoring and analysing of the macro-economic and regulatory climate in which the Industry operates, and pertinent policies published by Government other public bodies and private bodies
  • The production of reports, presentations and submissions on various issues that are of importance to the Industry as deemed necessary through the monitoring and analysis processes mentioned above.
  • The carrying out of various surveys amongst Association members to gather information from them and to (a) determine their views on issues that impact the Industry and (b) use these views in the production of reports, presentations and submissions.
  • Interacting with various Government Departments, other Industry Associations and other bodies.

2) Taking full responsibility for the following:

  • Arranging and coordinating the holding of FSA’s Operations Working Groups and Committee meetings – Human Resources, Transport, Land, Bioenergy and Health and Safety.
  • Initiating the establishment of new Working Groups or Committees falling under FSA’s auspices if and when necessary.
  • Chairing various Committees / Working Groups, including Forest Operations and Health & Safety.

John Scotcher 

jscotcher@forestlore.co.za | 0027 (0)83 626 8990

Environmental Consultant

John was appointed as FSA’s environmental consultant in 2004. With a Ph.D in Resource Ecology and 47 years of experience, including the roles of Regional Scientist and Chief Conservator for the Natal Parks Board and Regional Environmental Manager for Sappi. In his 15 years with FSA, John has developed a wealth of forestry-related knowledge, that goes beyond his environmental remit, making him an indispensable member of the FSA team.

Roles and responsibilities

In an effort to reduce the Industry’s footprint on the environment, his task is to advise FSA, and its members, on relevant environmental legislation, interact with government departments by providing informed comments during the drafting  of policy, laws and regulations, all of which provide a baseline for the practice of sustainable forestry.

He is also Editor of the FSA Environmental Guidelines for Commercial Forestry Plantations in South Africa.