Thuthugani specialises in hands-on management of forestry and agricultural projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Moolman Team Has Done It Again!!! – Third time in a row Fire Break Burning Champions

On the 20th of August 2019 Moolman Team scooped Fire Break Burning Championship for the third time in a row and walked away with the first prize of a live sheep and a shield. Moolman Team scored 88% and beat second placed Makwabe Team which had 84% in a tight competition where date of completing fire break burning, number of fire jumps and area affected by fire jumps were the main factors used to determine the winner.

Other activities of the day included inspection of fire trucks for firefighting preparedness, firefighting simulation and tug of war competition.

Fire Break Burning Champions


TUG OF WAR CHAMPIONS: The strongest proto team in Dumbe is Pivaanspoort after knocking out all teams in a Tug of war competition.

FIRE TRUCK INSPECTION: Makwabe team presented the cleanest fire trucks that were well equipped and ready for fire fighting

Demonstration of Excellence

Demonstration of Excellence: Thuthugani Contractors Come First in Mondi Northern Region Business Unit  Driven by one of our values – Excellence, on 12 April 2018 Thuthugani Contractors (Pty) Ltd received the following Mondi best performing awards:
  1. Regional Silviculture Contractor of the Year
  2. Area Safety Award
Management would like to thank all Thuthugani employees for the dedication and hard work shown in 2017. Indeed we have lived up to our vision ‘Thuthugani will be a leading silviculture service provider in the South African forestry sector’.     Mark Prigge (Mondi Dumbe Area Manager) presenting Best Performing Contractor in Dumbe Area to Thuthugani.      Denzel (Mondi BU Central Manager) presenting Best Performing Regional Silviculture Contractor of the year to Thuthugani       Thuthugani among other award recipients.   Our employees are the source of our strength and success. On the 20th of April 2018 Thuthugani Team celebrated its’ achievements at Toverton Offices. The team is geared for ‘The Best Silviculture Contractor in Mondi South Africa in 2018’ award.                                                                                       

          Thuthugani Team

Team Building

At Thuthugani we take pride in Team Building that’s why we have a winning Team. On 23rd April 2018 Thuthugani team joined Mondi and other Dumbe Area contractors to take a day’s break and relax at Bivane Dam. Exciting Times!!!
Arbor-care takes to the skies

Arbor-care takes to the skies

Arbor-care has invested in drone technology to assist with its operations. Willem Hattingh, Arbor-care’s Professional Services Manager, has to go through stringent training and clearance processes to achieve his Remote Pilot Licence, including passing a seven day theoretical course and examination and English language proficiency certification, as well as obtaining a radio operator certificate, undertaking a five day practical flight course and examination, and passing a medical examination. Arbor-care had to register the drone plus Willem needed to obtain an operator certificate from CAA (the Civil Aviation Authority). And that’s not all: a radio, fire extinguisher and insurance were also required. Not a simple or speedy process!
The commercial use of drones is becoming increasingly common for various applications, including aerial surveys in the agricultural sector and game surveillance and protection (especially to combat rhino poaching). Drones are quick and manoeuvrable, and can often replace a costly helicopter for aerial photography.
Arbor-care has already made use of a fixed wing drone in Ghana for land-use mapping, reconnaissance of drought damage as well as a detailed survey of fire damage in other areas. Willem says, “One of our applications will be reconnaissance-type work such as determining the extent of any disaster (fire, hail, drought etc) or checking on the quality of work. The second application will be obtaining a detailed aerial survey of the results of any reconnaissance – in a random fly mode – mainly work at a different scale and accuracy. The third application will be a pre-defined flight path to record any attribute of interest in a known area using thermal imaging or normal 3 band photography, with again a multitude of uses e.g. normal land-use mapping. It is a quick and easy way of assessing in-field conditions prior to gathering additional information to assist with planning mechanised operations. We can assess the quality of any activity but mainly planting and weed control as well as the quality of fire break preparation, and in a green field operation the updating of maps to reflect the current land-use status.”
Flight Jul 2016 – sequence of vertical images at predefined flight path at a fixed altitude and 80% overlap – later used to combine into 1 georeferenced image for example land-use planning and mapping.
Arbor-care currently uses a Quadcopter (DJI Phantom4) with four rotors, rather than a fixed wing drone, which is more versatile but has certain disadvantages as well as advantages. The main advantage of the multi-rotor drones are the ease of take-off and landing as no landing strip is required plus the craft can hover to better investigate an area. The main downside is the battery life and time in the air, which is limited to about 20 minutes.
Flight May 2016 – non vertical image of Arbor-care office and portion of the nursery.
DJI Phantom 4 – actual drone and controller with tablet interface to control the aircraft in flight (3 modes).
Flight 2 Jul 2016 – a snapshot of a panoramic video, before levelling off and adjusting the camera to 90 degrees and progressing with the flight (as in the first image).
Sharing forestry knowledge

Sharing forestry knowledge

While on a recent trip exploring forestry opportunities in Angola, the Arbor-care team came across local farmers who had formed a small-scale forestry initiative. Gum and pine plantations were being established, largely for the farmers’ own needs. There was an on-site mill owned by one farmer that he used to produce planks for building.

The Arbor-care team was impressed by how the farmers, with no formal forestry training at all, had established firebreaks and carefully planted and nurtured naturally regenerated seedlings that they had picked growing from within the existing plantations. The farmers were very enthusiastic to learn what Arbor-care had to offer in the way of advice and technical guidance. Deon von Benecke of Arbor-care says, “Sharing knowledge is an important part of adding value where we can in an area such as this.”

Bed to grow seedlings in plastic pots
Tree farmers
Volunteer pine seedlings
Discussion on the need for weed control in eucalyptus