Mmegi Online :: Permits needed for residents to sell firewood
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Last Updated
Wednesday 14 November 2018, 18:34 pm.
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Permits needed for residents to sell firewood

MAKOMOTO LANDS: Residents have now come to an understanding with the department of forestry to sell firewood, on condition that they are in possession of the relevant permits.
By Staff Writer Thu 15 Nov 2018, 04:56 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Permits needed for residents to sell firewood








The harvest and dealer permits, which the residents are required to have in order to engage in the firewood business, have to be renewed every month

Two years ago Makomoto residents were at loggerheads with the department, that led to the seizure of their firewood towards the end of 2007.  Before the seizure of the firewood almost everyone in the village was a harvester or dealer of firewood but now only a few people are involved because they cannot afford the permits, say residents.

The permit goes for P60 a month and if not renewed no sale can take place as the department checks on them regularly. Neo Tumisang, who owns a shebeen is a dealer and also harvester of firewood. She says that the permit expires every month and she has to go to Francistown to renew and the process, she says, is daunting.

“When the permit expires we immediately have to remove the firewood from the road and keep them home and we cannot sell,” she said. She said the renewal of the permit takes anywhere from a month and a half to two months and in the meantime the applicant will not be allowed to sell any fire wood.

She says that the new system makes it especially hard because it is not easy to sell.

“We have not sold any wood in four days because there is no business but whether there is business or not the permit expires and I have to go to Francistown to renew and wait for it to be approved before I can start selling again,’ she added. Another resident who has been involved in the saga since the beginning, Moitamo Sanga says the situation is now better even though the permits are unreasonably timed.

“A month

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for a permit is very short, they could have made it a license and kept assessing it, because now every month I have to travel to Francistown to renew the permit.

I have to use about P100 every month to go there and renew it otherwise I will not be able to sell,” she said.
She says it would have been better if the permit had a longer life span.

“The life span is the one that makes it expensive,” she added.

She said that at first a lot of people were selling or harvesting firewood in Makomoto but since the repossession and the introduction of the permits the number has dropped radically.

“They were about five people that got permits to sell and I hear one has stopped so I guess now we are only four,” said Sanga, who also owns a tuck shop.

She said that people who solely depend on selling firewood might not be able to sustain the business.

“I have a tuck shop and the others who have permits also have other things they are selling, if it was just wood the business would not survive because firewood is not bought everyday especially in this season, may be in the winter,” she stated.

While the aspect of permits is a bit stressful, Sanga said, at least they are now able to sell firewood again and they are trying to work with the department to ensure that it is done legally.

“We do not buy wood from people who come with wet firewood because we are trying to help the government,” she added. Before the introduction of the permits the department of forestry complained that some residents were chopping wet trees and passing them off as firewood, which is an offence

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