Change the world


History was made during the General Assembly of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) held in Istanbul in the second half of this year when for the first time ever two Forestry students from the African continent - one from Nigeria and one from the George Campus of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University - were elected to serve on the Board of this global organisation. 

What’s more, another student from NMMU George was re-elected to serve for a second term as the IFSA representative for the Southern African Region, with the Director of the School of Natural Resource Managementat Saasveld, Prof Jos Louw, being electedto the General Assembly as the Honorary member from South Africa for his “outstanding contribution to the Forestry Industry outside of IFSA”.

For the next year BTech Forestry student, Sikhumbuzo Nxumalo will serve the so-called IFSA 7 (top structure) as a councillor where he will take co-responsibility for constitutional and strategic matters. He will also supervise the Southern Africa, Asia and Oceania Regions of IFSA, as well as the Commissions responsible for the IFSA website, IFSA News and Forestry Education.

“My plan is to work closely with my Regional Representatives to establish more Local Committees such as the Saasveld Forestry Association; to promote IFSA through the media, and to work with the regional representatives, and especially the Southern Africa Regional Representative, Hannes van Zyl, to introduce IFSA to our government and to support government youth programmes that are related to Natural Resource Management, such as Forestry education. I believe that in order to attract the youth, you need young people to take the lead” says Sikhumbuzo.

As the IFSA Regional Representative (Southern Africa) Hannes van Zyl, who is currently doing his MTech-degree focussing on Forest Engineering at NMMU George, will again promote the aims of the Association in this region, including encouraging more forest students’ associationsto become members of IFSA.

Asked what this opportunity means to him, Hannes responded as follows: “Serving as a Regional Representative is an unparalleled opportunity to grow my leadership ability and to have a positive impact. It gives me the unique opportunity to interact with and serve as a link between students, government and the forestry industry, both locally and internationally.  My main aim for the year will be to forge a closer relationship between the Local Committees under my control and to encourage them to get involved in various community upliftment projects. Without the incredible support of the NMMU it would have been nearly impossible for me and my predecessors to hold and to succeed in this exciting position”.

Hannes van Zyl (left) and Sikhumbuzo Nxumalo

Taking responsibility… NMMU George Forestry students, Hannes van Zyl (left) and Sikhumbuzo Nxumalo are looking forward to serving the interests of forestry students and the industry during their tenure as office bearers of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA).

Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098