The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) published 414 national standards in the financial year that ended 31 March 2021.
This includes new standards, adopted, amended and/or revised standards, with 127 being new standards.
In 2020, 359 national standards were published and 241 in 2019.
Information contained in South African National Standards (SANS) are fundamental to the economic and industrial optimisation of the country. With approximately 7 400 SANS available, South African organisations have access to technical specifications of almost every product, service and management system in the South African market.
SANS are developed and published through technical committees. Technical committees are constituted by members of the public and includes industry stakeholders, academics, students, regulators and any interested person. Technical committees are run by an elected chairperson and there is no financial or monetary gain for any member of the committee.
“The time to develop and publish each standard varies, as every new or amended standard requires public participation,” explains Sadhvir Bisson, divisional head of SABS Standards. “Technical committees take into account every comment or concern raised in the in the participation process and in some cases further amendments and consultations with the public is required, before a SANS can be concluded and published.”
Bisson attributes the record number of SANS published in 2021 to better functioning technical committees and committed members, increased participation from regulators and Departments and efficiencies from virtual platforms as well as within the SABS.
SANS evolve over the years to reflect technological and regulatory changes and it is imperative that all organisations become familiar with SANS, apply and comply to SANS and take the next step to ensure that compliance is verified through an independent body. Institutions that require assistance with identifying relevant SANS can contact the SABS. SABS can also provide customised training to create awareness and understanding of the collection of standards pertaining to an organisation.