Seeks greater conformity assessment in Africa to help boost trade
The South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), says there is need for skills development in light of the increased need for specialised conformity assessment to help South Africa re-industrialise.
“Attaining South Africa’s desire to boost the economy and add jobs through manufacturing and exports of South African goods and services requires specialised accredited conformity (compliance) assessment services that will enable locally-manufactured goods” says SANAS CEO, Ron Josias.
The need for SANAS accredited conformity assessment services such as testing, inspection, certification, calibration, measurement and verification is in line with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti)objectives as articulated in its Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).
“That is why we, as SANAS, have been working hard over the past 12 months with the other dti Technical Infrastructure agencies i.e. South African Bureau of Standards, the National Metrology Institute of South Africa and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications in order to align our activities– and that of our clients – to respond with the provision of conformity assessment services in several key growth sectors,” says Josias. These include: nuclear energy, agro processing and green industries. Earlier this year SANAS rolled out its accreditation programme for the measurement and verification of Energy Efficiency in support of reducing South Africa’s carbon emissions. Furthermore, in February 2013 its programme for the validation and verification of GHG will be finalised.
SANAS is encouraging its clients to apply for funding from the dti’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP), launched in June 2012 by the dti. The programme aims to give financial assistance to conformity assessment bodies that support the manufacturing industry. The funding may be used for setting up, installing and upgrading laboratory equipment to training of staff and pre- and initial accreditation activities. “We strongly encourage such facilities to apply for MCEP funding so that they can be a part of approving and introducing to the international market a new generation of South African products,” he adds.
In this light, SANAS’s recognition by the International Laboratory Accreditation Corporation (ILAC) since 2002 and the International Accreditation Forum since 1998 – extended for another four years – is important because it means that if SANAS clients issues a certificate, that certificate is recognised by over 78 signatories in countries such as . Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uruguay, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam.
In addition SANAS became one of the first Accreditation Bodies to sign the newly launched Inspection Multi-lateral Arrangement of the ILAC which will means inspection certificates issued by SANAS accredited clients will be recognised internationally by other signatories. For this reason, SANAS’s medium-term goal is to get the African Accreditation Corporation (AFRAC), which represents all accreditation bodies in Africa, also to be accepted by ILAC.
“Such recognition would literally transform the way Africa does business with the rest of the world – we can’t wait!”