Accreditation Day underlines importance of the SANAS

11th June 2024 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

In the current environment of fast-paced technological advancement, accreditation can enable organisations to embrace new technologies and drive innovation, as it provides a framework of trust and reliability.

This was highlighted by speakers during the South African National Accreditation System’s (SANAS') 2024 World Accreditation Day breakfast, held in Centurion on June 10, under the theme “Empowering Tomorrow and Shaping the Future”.

Through accreditation, industry stands to benefit by using it as an effective marketing tool and a means to submit tenders to contractors that require independently verified conformity assessment bodies.

Moreover, accreditation is posited to level the playing field, by enabling both big and small businesses to operate on equal footing.

In terms of accreditation for research, this was said to be an essential tool for decision-making and risk management.

It was also said to assist regulators in meeting their mandates.

Attendees drew attention to the fact that entities at universities were currently lagging in terms of accreditation, which could be owing to financial constraints. However, SANAS was undertaking work to engender more awareness about accreditation and its benefits.

Speakers emphasised that accreditation should be pursued by stakeholders in the water, sanitation and healthcare fields, among others, as it could enable better accessibility, safety and efficiency, while assisting these sectors to mitigate challenges such as high inflation, low economic growth, climate change and trade disruptions.

Water, sanitation and health were some of the key sectors identified to have scope for this, given that access to these is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and that a lack thereof poses considerable risks to human health and socioeconomic development.

Statistics presented in this regard were concerning, with large percentages of the global population lacking access to clean, safe water and sanitation.

Moreover, on a local level, South Africa is a water scarce country, and has to contend with insufficient infrastructure for water and sanitation.

However, measures have been taken to address the country’s water and sanitation crisis, including establishing water boards to support municipalities with water treatment and distribution infrastructure.