Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 May 2010

TIMBER: Timber Industry Organisations Merger Ratified


Recent Gauteng Business News

The proposed merger between the Timber Frame Builders’ Association (TFBA) and the Institute of Timber Construction (ITC) has been ratified and put into motion.

That’s the good news to emerge from the TFBA’s 2010 AGM in Johannesburg on March 19.

The merger will bring together two bodies with a long history of service to the timber industry extending back to 1975. In combination they will create a powerful new force in the timber industry.

Initial moves towards the merger took place in early 2008 and further meetings were held during the course of 2009 and earlier this year.

The TFBA will be renamed as The Institute of Timber Frame Builders operating within the ITC umbrella structure. The AGM also saw the unveiling of a proposed logo for the new organisation.

Addressing the audience, TFBA Executive Committee Member Gerard Busse of Arch Wood Protection, reviewed the evolution of the two bodies over the decades.

The ITC originated as the Truss Plate Association of Southern Africa, established in 1975. ITC membership comprises manufacturers, engineers, pre-fabricators, erectors and professional roof inspectors.

As the representative organisation for the timber roof sector the ITC has played a vital role in the evolution of the timber industry, having raised standards, monitored adherence to relevant industry and SANS specifications and Codes of Practice and successfully protected consumer interests.

Moreover it fostered and promoted all ITC members’ interests through appropriate advertising and publicity and by facilitating training and lobbying at all relevant levels and forums.

As for the TFBA, the organisation has regional committees in the Western Cape, KZN, Gauteng and Mpumalanga and is recognised by the financial institutions, local authorities and the NHRBC among others.

Over time the TFBA has set and maintained standards in timber frame construction, provided mediation services and established a reputation for adhering to strict construction standards and business ethics.

It’s also played a major role in educating various stakeholders - councils, architects, engineers and the like on acceptable timber construction practice.

It’s succeeded in creating public awareness about timber frame construction and has been a significant lobbying force with various influential organisations and authorities. It recently established a timber industry training academy in Paarl.

Both organisations are also founding members of the Wood Foundation.

The benefits of the merger are seen to be far reaching notably in terms of moving forward on a united front towards ever more enhanced standards of timber construction, combined financial strength and expertise, synergies in marketing and training material development, greater strength in representations and credibility in lobbying and increased versatility in terms of inspectorate functions which were and still are, a particular strength of the ITC.

The two organisations will continue to operate independently for the next two years, but the groundwork will continue to be laid behind the scenes and in consultation with members for the ultimate merger, at the same time identifying critical milestones, integration plans and implementations and settling on key issues related to training, the ITC inspectorate etc. Clearly great things lie ahead for the new organisation.

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