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Since the establishment of its B-BBEE mentorship programme, Rance Timber has been able to support SMME’s in various ways, offering both financial and non-financial support.

Rance Timber’s aim is to forge long-term relationships and add value by unlocking the potential of SMME’s focussing on the forestry sector, whilst acknowledging the important role that it can play in improving and developing small businesses.

One of the many success stories is agricultural entrepreneur Sonwabile Mlungisi Bushula, the co-owner of SA Fine Tuned Trading - a 100% black owned forestry company operating at Gertfontein Farm, Stutterheim. The enterprise focuses mainly on timber growing, harvesting, procurement, rehabilitation and conversions of wattle jungles into commercial plantations. Rance Timber and Amathole Forestry Company contribute technical forestry management advice, fire-fighting resources, market access and mentorship.


Bushula was recently recognised by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), for Forestry Excellence – a great accomplishment and a triumph for the Rance Timber B-BBEE mentorship programme.

Named overall winner in the Large-Scale Category of the 2019 Youth in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Bushula had previously won the Small-Scale Youth in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries award.

Bushula said he found out about the B-BBEE mentorship programme through engagement with Rance Timber when he sought assistance with challenges faced by SA Fine Tuned Trading. “The mentorship assisted me with skills and knowledge. I didn’t have the necessary background knowledge of forestry before the mentorship. Now, with assistance from Rance Timber, our projects are very successful,’’ Bushula said.

He added that he would recommend the mentorship to other small businesses in the same sector, “They stand to gain quite a lot, but they must not expect to be given everything. They must also show initiative.”

Bushula concluded by commending Rance Timber for their efforts in assisting SMME’s. “They assist with road preparation and maintenance. Even when we have fires they come with their resources and assist us. They actually do a lot for us,” he added.

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