75 years and counting

75 years and counting

On September 1 the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which is also a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), celebrated its 75th year of developing national standards, providing quality assessment services and the testing of advanced materials and products in South Africa.

The SABS, which was established as the national standardisation authority through the promulgation of the Standards Act 24 of 1945, is responsible for maintaining South Africa’s database of more than 7 000 national standards, as well as developing new standards and revising, amending or withdrawing existing standards.

“Standards are the foundation for the synchronisation of regulation, technical specifications, enforcement protocols and conformity procedures,” says Jodi Scholtz, the lead administrator of the SABS.   

“Simply put, standards set up the rules of engagement for all transactions and interactions in the global trading system and amongst countries and businesses. In our 75 years of existence, the SABS has been an active member at global standards development bodies and we have never faltered in our vision to serve the interests of the South African industry and to advance growth in our economy.”

She adds that South Africa must, over the next 75 years, improve its standard-setting agenda to ensure better protection of its minerals and resources and advance social development while improving the lives of its people.

“The advent of new technologies, brought about by the fourth industrial revolution, will also require new standards development to speed up their adoption yet not to compromise on safety and quality,” explains Scholtz. “Never before have standards been as important as they are now for international trade. The post-Covid-19 business environment will need a strict focus on quality and global standards.”

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