Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is concerned about the state of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and has instructed the agency’s board to urgently oversee the development of a turnaround strategy. SABS has the critical function of testing and certifying the quality and safety of products, and public confidence in the soundness of its testing is vital. It emerged from the minister’s supplementary replies to parliamentary questions by DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia that from 2015-16 to end-April 2018 the SABS lost 1,051 customers, resulting in a financial loss of R50m. The peak in customer cancellations was in the 2016-17 financial year and was due to customers cancelling their permits and certificates with the SABS. Among the reasons given were the suspension of the SABS by the South African National Accreditation System (Sanas), customers moving to competitors and expired certificates and/or permits. Sanas is the only national body responsible for accrediting, testing and ...

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