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  1. #1
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    Default Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    I lived in Brits for a whole number of years whilst working in Pretoria. I travelled through harties virtually daily, one of my favourite pubs ever is in harties and I'm sort of almost a local in the area. Even though I live in Pretoria now, I regularly cruise through harties on the way to collect my kids, or visit friends, or simply go camping in the bush-veld.

    The following thread is that because despite various posts I've seen on social media advising people not to do so, the number of times I've seen "non-local" vehicles buying wood next to the road in harties is astounding.

    There have been occasions when people have spoken about buying wood there, or mentioned this on WA or posted this on FB. etc. etc. etc.

    I've normally tried to point this out to people when I've gathered that they are not aware of this. So this is not an "uit-trap" post (there are forumites I've pointed this out to before) about the matter. But rather - I'd really like to raise a bit more awareness of this problem.

    In short: Please do not buy wood next to the road in harties.

    Firstly: despite being well-priced, it is really crappy wood. It is normally wet and it is going to have to dry out for a looooong time before you will be able to use it.

    Secondly, and more importantly: it is illegally poached wood. People are destroying the Magaliesberg green belt.

    Carte Blanche actually did an episode on this a year or two ago. I cannot find the video at the moment.

    I cannot remember if this has been mentioned before. If so, mods can feel free to delete this thread and fellow forum members can feel free to smack me. But just my word of caution against a rather problematic practice at the moment.

    Additional information:

    https://twitter.com/carteblanchetv/s...88564592406529
    https://citizen.co.za/news/south-afr...erg-mountains/
    https://kormorant.co.za/2020/02/12/s...sberg-carnage/
    Ian de Villiers
    Nissan Patrol GRX 4.5


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    It is a Friday, with a public holiday on Tuesday next week. I presume the roads through to the bushveld will be full this weekend and many people will be travelling through Hartbeespoort.

    So I'm bumping this again.

    Enjoy the weekend everyone and travel safe. But please do not buy your wood next to the road in Hartbeespoort.
    Ian de Villiers
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    I saw the documentary as well.

    Good post Ian.
    Cheers
    Willem Greyling

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    I drove to Harties to collect some new bass rods. Was considering stopping to get some wood, at R10 a bag, why not... Then recalled the Carte Blanche doccie and decided not to... Also, rods needed to go into the empty loadbin and I wasn't going to risk damaging new rods for cheap fire wood...

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Thanks - I just want to raise a bit of awareness of the issue. Every time I drive through there I see people loading up tons of wood next to the road.

    It's cheap, but it's crappy wood. And it is really a problem at the moment.
    Ian de Villiers
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Fully support your plea Ian!
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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Yip me too..

    I have seen that the wood sellers have become a lot more than what it was a few months ago
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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    In the past I used to buy my wood there (based on a recommendation on this forum!)

    Last 2 years I have been using goodwood logs (again forum recommendation). It may seem pricy just judging the price per bag vs size but because they are so compact I do believe you get more combustible material per bag than you do with the cheap bags so next to the road. Clean to handle, easy to use, burns nice and hot and leaves minimal ash, plus you can pet yourself on the back for being eco friendly. Only big no-no is that they cannot get wet so has to be stored inside.

    R22/bag if you buy more than 150 and they deliver for free, just watch out as they tend to run out of stock towards the end of the season
    https://www.goodwoodlogs.co.za/produ...ory/good-wood/

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  16. #9
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    I wonder if those buying this wood on the side of the road would continue doing so if they saw the devastation being caused to the environment by this illegal wood harvesting on the slopes of the Magaliesberg mountain - a World Biosphere Reserve.
    It's heartbreaking.

    Why is the wood is so cheap?
    It's because the wood is stolen.

    So, buying this wood is buying stolen goods - it's illegal.
    It's like paying bribes - it's illegal.

    Everyone knows this.
    Do you and others care enough or have the moral strength to say No!

    Some do, but unfortunately most don't.
    I wish that would change.
    If you make a noise or need music in the bush or on the beach, you’re missing the point.

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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by mullerza View Post
    In the past I used to buy my wood there (based on a recommendation on this forum!)

    Last 2 years I have been using goodwood logs (again forum recommendation). It may seem pricy just judging the price per bag vs size but because they are so compact I do believe you get more combustible material per bag than you do with the cheap bags so next to the road. Clean to handle, easy to use, burns nice and hot and leaves minimal ash, plus you can pet yourself on the back for being eco friendly. Only big no-no is that they cannot get wet so has to be stored inside.

    R22/bag if you buy more than 150 and they deliver for free, just watch out as they tend to run out of stock towards the end of the season
    https://www.goodwoodlogs.co.za/produ...ory/good-wood/

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    Anton,
    What is the length of those sticks?
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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by PRA View Post
    I wonder if those buying this wood on the side of the road would continue doing so if they saw the devastation being caused to the environment by this illegal wood harvesting on the slopes of the Magaliesberg mountain - a World Biosphere Reserve.
    It's heartbreaking.

    Why is the wood is so cheap?
    It's because the wood is stolen.

    So, buying this wood is buying stolen goods - it's illegal.
    It's like paying bribes - it's illegal.

    Everyone knows this.
    Do you and others care enough or have the moral strength to say No!

    Some do, but unfortunately most don't.
    I wish that would change.
    I've chatted with a bunch of people about this.

    I honestly think that people don't really know that it is stolen / poached wood.

    I mean - it is so in your face obviously being sold next to the road, that one cannot really believe that it is illegal.

    Technically, I presume this needs to be dealt with by some arm of government - law enforcement / environmental affairs / etc. But there seems to be no political willpower to do so.
    Ian de Villiers
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  21. #12
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Sadly this is why I am now 100 % SPAR Briquettes for the last decade Miss my hardekool fires >> but at the rate the human race consumes our heritage there will be nothing left > If you Really have to use wood then alien stuff like Rooikrans etc is the way to go

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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...ood-in-Harties

    Previous discussions on this on going issue

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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Betts View Post
    Sadly this is why I am now 100 % SPAR Briquettes for the last decade Miss my hardekool fires >> but at the rate the human race consumes our heritage there will be nothing left > If you Really have to use wood then alien stuff like Rooikrans etc is the way to go
    When we're camping I am amazed at the sizes of the fires fellow campers make for their braais every night. Huge. And you see this everywhere even in wood scarce areas like the Kgalagadi.

    This wood has to be go from somewhere. Last time I was driving to the the KTNP, I saw workers on a farm alongside the road collecting every dead branch lying in the veld. The wood is home to insects, lizards, rodents, birds etc. It is part of the cycle of life. Remove it all and the chain is broken.

    It is possible to braai using less wood. Only 2 of us, we braai on a small portable braai that contains the heat, using rooikrans. It uses a fraction of the wood of the huge inefficient SANParks braais. So our supply of wood lasts a lot longer.

    I think I read on this forum something like the way we braais there won't be in braaihout in a decade. Probably true.
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  26. #15
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    Anton,
    What is the length of those sticks?
    I'll confirm exact length but its around 400mm, they break fairly easy into about 40mm pucks (seems they compress these pucks first then compress again into sticks)

    If you fireplace cannot accommodate the length you just break into 2 pieces. I would typically break 1 up into pucks to light the fire then chuck in full logs as needed
    Anton Muller
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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by mullerza View Post
    I'll confirm exact length but its around 400mm, they break fairly easy into about 40mm pucks (seems they compress these pucks first then compress again into sticks)

    If you fireplace cannot accommodate the length you just break into 2 pieces. I would typically break 1 up into pucks to light the fire then chuck in full logs as needed


    Good to know, thanks , yes I was asking for my fireplace inside
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  28. #17
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by Londo View Post
    When we're camping I am amazed at the sizes of the fires fellow campers make for their braais every night. Huge. And you see this everywhere even in wood scarce areas like the Kgalagadi.

    This wood has to be go from somewhere. Last time I was driving to the the KTNP, I saw workers on a farm alongside the road collecting every dead branch lying in the veld. The wood is home to insects, lizards, rodents, birds etc. It is part of the cycle of life. Remove it all and the chain is broken.

    It is possible to braai using less wood. Only 2 of us, we braai on a small portable braai that contains the heat, using rooikrans. It uses a fraction of the wood of the huge inefficient SANParks braais. So our supply of wood lasts a lot longer.

    I think I read on this forum something like the way we braais there won't be in braaihout in a decade. Probably true.
    I like a good fire when camping.. I just burn dead trees.

    But I make sure the wood I buy is from a reputable place, or at least directly from a farmer clearing some farm land
    _______________________________________
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    I drive a fire engine red Cruiser and tow an army inspired van.

  29. #18
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Why are authorities not doing anything about it?
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  30. #19
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    Good to know, thanks , yes I was asking for my fireplace inside
    Definitely give it a try, you wont go back. You can buy at builders etc (obviously at a premium) if you just want to try out a bag or two, thats what I did originally and after the first bag I ordered 150 directly from them.
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    Default Re: Wood in Hartbeespoort - Don't Buy Next to the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    I've chatted with a bunch of people about this.

    I honestly think that people don't really know that it is stolen / poached wood.

    I mean - it is so in your face obviously being sold next to the road, that one cannot really believe that it is illegal.

    Technically, I presume this needs to be dealt with by some arm of government - law enforcement / environmental affairs / etc. But there seems to be no political willpower to do so.
    This was exactly how I fell into the trap of buying 10 bags (which I still have in my carport). Had I known the story, I wouldn't have touched the wood, but at R10 per bag it seemed a bargain. Firewood in Fourways sells for around R40 per bag - and to be honest I have no idea where that comes from either! It's marketed as Namibian hardwood, but who knows...
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