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Once proud SABS is struggling

 

The once proud South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which was founded in 1945 and has been under administration since July 2018, is struggling and may be bankrupt within the next 24 months due to a lack of funds.

Today in Parliament, the SABS appeared before the Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry and reported on its turn-around strategy.

It is clear that poor management, corruption and the outflow of management and technical expertise have paralysed the institution while the laboratories where it conducts its tests are dysfunctional due to poor upkeep. The SABS's wage bill comprises almost 70% of its administrative and operational budget. The institution, furthermore, lacks the necessary management skills and technicians.

And now the SABS has no other choice but to make use of external consultants, at great expense, to turn the institution around.

It is clear that against the backdrop of the poor South African economic climate, it is highly unlikely that the turn-around strategy will be successful.

On top of that, the SABS has lost its IATF accreditation (International Automotive Task Force) due to non-compliance with international standards and big clients, like Toyota South Africa, are now having their standards testing done elsewhere.

Many companies that are under immense financial pressure due to the current economic climate in South Africa also opt not to incur further expenses to apply for a standard, particularly because the SABS takes so long to deliver the service.

The FF Plus predicts that the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), which is currently also implementing a turn-around strategy, as well as other government institutions will soon follow in the footsteps of the SABS.

The FF Plus proposed that instead of striving to achieve its seemingly main objective of racial transformation, the SABS must be restructured in line with the country’s current challenging economic circumstances and that the necessary expertise must be obtained by making appointments based on merit so that the turn-around strategy can be managed successfully.

Contact details: 082 466 3786 / 062 391 1804

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