SABS announces new local content certification scheme

It will make things easier for producers and manufacturers – and keep those who crook the system out.
Government believes the new scheme will support local manufacturing and create jobs. Image: Luis Tato, Bloomberg

A new certification scheme launched by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on October 14, intends to harmonise local content and local production for producers and manufacturers, levelling the playing field and cutting out those who seek to cheat the system.

The SABS – a statutory body entrusted with developing, promoting and maintaining South African National Standards (SANS) – said the Local Content Certification Scheme seeks to address the shortcomings of its predecessor, the Local Verification Scheme.

“Product certification is a large portion of our quality assessment business and our ability to [provide] domestic producers with a combined product and local content certification will enhance their selling opportunities in the public and private procurement system,” SABS said in a statement.

“In turn, this will strengthen the quality of goods and products bought throughout the supply chain. This will increase the demand for quality locally-produced products.”

Out with the old

Previously, manufacturers and suppliers – particularly those bidding for work in the public sector – were only required to sign a declaration form stating that their products met SABS product specifications.

The declarations would only be verified, if ever, once bidders had passed certain levels in the procurement process.

Through the new scheme, local producers and manufacturers will be able to get their products audited and certified up front, before they bid for procurement opportunities.

Producers and manufacturers whose products meet local production and content standards will be issued with a certificate that will be valid for five years, subject to annual checks.

“This initiative enables procuring organs, both private and public sector, to implement their preferential procurement practices with ease as far as local content requirements are concerned,” SABS said.

Government’s local investment drive

The upgrade by the SABS, which has been approved by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), comes as the government looks to stimulate economic growth by supporting local businesses.

Read: Godongwana commits to reforms and removing red tape to boost economy

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Fikile Majola said in a statement on Thursday that the new scheme supports government’s ambitions to use public procurement strategically to reindustrialise South Africa and create more jobs.

“We believe this to be important because, pragmatically, each time we – whether as government, citizens, businesses or communities – buy a product which is imported, we gift potential jobs, tax revenue, [GDP] and our industrial capabilities to our trade competitors,” he added.

“Localisation means that we can assist the productive sectors of our economy to continue to manufacture locally and the more the country moves towards localisation, the more decent jobs are created.”

Designated products

Earlier this month, National Treasury announced that the use of imported cement on government-funded projects will be banned from November 4.

According to the dtic, cement joins a list of 27 products designated for local content and production in the public procurement system.

Read: Treasury bans use of imported cement on all government-funded projects

Already on the list are:

  • Steel conveyance pipes;
  • Plastic pipes;
  • Textile, clothing, leather and footwear;
  • Canned or processed vegetables; and
  • School furniture.

Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association CEO Jan Venter tells Moneyweb that although he cannot speak to the individual experiences the association’s members may have had with government’s localisation policy, the industry welcomes such moves.

“We do however firmly believe in preferential procurement and the protection of local industry and therefore appreciate the work that is being done in this regard,” he says. “In general, it [can] only be beneficial to local investment.”

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This policy from the department of trade and industry, is very similar to the inward industrialization policy of the EFF.

Irrespective I fully support this, as this will create quality jobs for those who need employment.

Sadly …it won’t create jobs

Engineering tech with A.i will see to that..

E.G Dry-docks in Japan used manual inspection for the outer hull taking a couple weeks

Now lasers can scan every join&bolt in a matter of hours

“…certificate that will be valid for five years, subject to annual checks”

It is said every fly-over bridge in Johannesburg is decaying to the point of exposed “Bridge Rebar Corrosion”

And nothing is being done

More important than BEE is local content.

SABS, isn’t this the organization that “certified” the sub-standard Gupta coal, as fit-for-purpose, that played a role in hamstringing a few EishKom power strations?

There’s probably been no consequence management…?

Whilst this is appreciated I cannot see how this is going to change things. At the moment the supplier has to sign an annexure but the purchaser / contractor does not even consider the annexure if they just knowingly purchase imported products as the client XYZ municipality in the sticks does not even know that it is a requirement on the contract. So why should they consider a certificate then when they just simply take a short cut as they know there will be NO follow up or even penalty.

I think this is for SABS to make more money but they cannot even currently certify products.

Back to the ’70s and ’80s we go.
Different Coxswain at the helm (or is it?)

End of comments.

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