SABS Brings Back Customer Specific Requirement (CSR) Testing As Part Of Turnaround Plan

The SABS has revitalised the Local Content Verification programme and had identified 64 projects of which 15 are in project execution. Garth Strachan says that the SABS Local Content Verification programme is still dependent upon an approved government funding model which could open new verification opportunities in the mining sector.

Mr. Garth Strachan, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS) reported to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry that the Turnaround Plan, which had been approved by its Shareholder - the Minister of Trade and Industry in January 2019, had brought back stability to the entity and that the SABS had reintroduced Customer Specific Requirement (CSR) testing.

Strachan said: “A key element in stabilising the SABS was to address the laboratory turnaround and this presented a need to resolve the vexing issue of ‘partial testing’ which we abandoned in 2015. This business decision, to limit all testing activities to a full South African National Standard (SANS), had many unintended consequences. As a result, the SABS and the dti were inundated with customer complaints and requests for us to reinstate the provision of partial testing. We had to change our strategy and create the capacity to deliver on our customer’s business needs. As a result the SABS Turnaround Plan has introduced a risk based approach to Customer Specific Requirements testing. We still have a long journey ahead but initial industry engagements have validated our decision. We call on industry associations and companies that still have unresolved matters to contact the SABS urgently”.

The SABS, which had suffered from declining board governance and poor performance concerns, was placed under administration in July 2018. Three co-administrators were appointed for a six month period and Dr. Rob Davies, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has subsequently extended the co-administrators appointment until the end of October 2019.

“The diagnostic report which was undertaken by the co-administrators and the disclaimer audit opinion by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) demonstrates that the decision, by the Minister, to place the SABS under administration was done timeously and in the public interest”, said Strachan .

Strachan went on to say that the SABS Turnaround Plan had begun to deliver results on cost containment, revenue generation, and the optimisation of procurement processes. He said that the SABS had budgeted R300 million for capital expenditure (capex) of which R58 million had been approved for the upgrading of critical testing infrastructure in the petroleum, chemicals and materials, agro-processing laboratories, R80 million for the digitisation of business processes and the remaining R95 million earmarked for maintenance of infrastructure which includes the National Electrical Test Facility (NETFA) in Olifantsfontein. He said in the six months under review the co-administrators had halved the trade deficit to R24 million, filled critical vacancies and maintained the SANAS accreditation.

The SABS has revitalised the Local Content Verification programme and had identified 64 projects of which 15 are in project execution. Strachan said that the SABS Local Content Verification programme is still dependent upon an approved government funding model which could open new verification opportunities in the mining sector.

Comments

Related News Articles

Kumba Iron Ore

22 February 2019
SADC, South Africa
1 min