International relations and strategic partnerships
SABS participates in the development of regional and international standards. The SABS’ role in the regional and international standardisation activities is to ensure that South Africa’s interests with regard to its products and services are considered. The contribution of local stakeholders is gathered through the local committees and channelled to the appropriate regional or international technical committees of SADCSTAN, ARSO, AFSEC, ISO, IEC and other well-known international standards development organisations.
The International Relations and Strategic Partnerships department develops and maintains strategic partnerships with stakeholders at national, regional and international level to ensure that the SABS standards are leveraged and gain appropriate benefit from these relations. It also facilitates the SABS’ contribution to regional integration in support of government policy.
The SABS is a member of the Southern African Development Community Cooperation in Standardization (SADCSTAN), African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) and The African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission (AFSEC), and currently supports the secretariat for AFSEC. SADCSTAN has the designated responsibility of harmonising relevant standards necessary to facilitate the free trade of goods and services in the SADC region.
The SABS is a full member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). South Africa holds a number of secretariats for ISO and IEC technical committees.
The SABS continues to serve in ISO governance positions, such as the Council and Technical Management Board (TMB). The SABS has served on the ISO Council on four occasions and on the TMB on four occasions, including the current term. The SABS currently serves as the chair of ISO Conformity Assessment (CASCO). A SABS Executive currently holds a position on the IEC Council Board.
On the technical side, South African experts - coordinated by the SABS - actively participate in influencing the international technical programmes and standards development in a number of ISO technical committees. The SABS currently:
- Hosts 10 ISO technical committee Secretariats and one in the IEC;
- chairs five ISO technical committees and one in the IEC; and
- convenes at least 14 ISO Working Groups (WGs) and several in the IEC.