Technical regulation is key in supporting local manufacturing. This was the message the came out clearly in the webinar on technical regulations which are essential for local producers who manufacture products for the domestic and international markets.
The webinar, which comprised of a high powered panel of experts from various agencies, was hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), in partnership with Proudly South Africa.
The objective of the webinar was to highlight the economic benefits to the South African economy of buying local, and key sectors which can make a significant contribution to job creation and economic growth for the country.
The Chief Director of Industrial Procurement at the dtic, Dr Tebogo Makube said technical regulation was key in supporting local manufacturing and entrepreneurship.
According to Makube, standards, measurements, certifications and other aspects that require regulation are also key in promoting locally produced products and their access to market.
He said there was a need to identify gaps in technical regulations and how, through their correct application, the population and the economy can be protected from harmful goods.
“In South Africa there is an influx of illicit products, many of them being clothing and food products. We regularly confiscate consignments of fake products and goods, and we are also seeing an increase in the counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals sector and medication.
“Branded fake clothing is sold in many cities and consumers are unaware they are purchasing counterfeited and therefore illegal goods. Such malpractices, kill the local manufacturing sector and the economy,” said Makube.
Makube pointed out that some countries use technical regulations as a non-tariff barrier to either protect their markets or in developing their export strategies.
He said South Africa cannot disregard complaints that expose the country for not using its standards nor can we ignore the role of technical regulators in protecting local markets.
“A country like the United States of America has many standards that we use as a benchmark for developing our own standards.
“In certain instances these standards that we use emanate from these established countries, which also use standards to protect their own manufacturing,” added Makube.
Addressing the same dialogue, the Chief Executive Officer of Proudly South African, Eustace Mashimbye said the Proudly South African logo works in sequence with other marks of certification and facilitates better market access and market penetration for member companies.
“Buyers, retailers and consumers can be confident that those products and services endorsed by the buy local campaign contain a stipulated level of local inputs and are of the highest quality.
“We hope that those people who attended the webinar derived the benefit of knowing the value of having their products and services correctly certified and of how subscribing to local standards and procedures can assist their businesses grow and flourish,” added Mashimbye.
All participating regulatory agencies in the webinar agreed that there was a need for more coordination and collaboration which will see all agencies improving their systems, and the reach of their marketing and educational campaigns intended stakeholders in order to get the assistance they need.
the dtic agencies that participated in the dialogue are the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), and National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA).
Together, they unlock institutional capacity to drive industrial competitiveness and ensure quality assurance of all locally manufactured products.