Tag Archive | Agrément Bill

Agrément Bill from CSIR will help localisation

building siteAgrément process helps new products…. 

An Agrément South Africa Bill has now been tabled in Parliament in an attempt to re-vitalize innovation and technical and engineering development mainly in the construction area that will hopefully benefit  socio-economic and developmental projects – for example, low-cost buildings, water and sanitation, road construction and basic systems applications. A responsibility currently of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Agrément SA is an institutional practice which, according to its website, “serves the national interest as an internationally acknowledged independent SA certification centre also serving the building and engineering communities.” It says it by providing “assurance to specifiers and users via technical approvals of ‘fitness-for-purpose’ of non-standardised and/or unconventional products”, Agrément SA evaluates such “fitness-for-purpose” on items and products used in the construction industry for which no national standard exists. The system is perceived as a necessity since many municipalities and local governments do not have personnel who can assess innovative systems themselves and can look therefore for such certification.

Legitimising many new products

A recent review of the Agrément SA’s departmental performance revealed that a lack of legal status, had negatively impacted on the department’s overall “functionality”. In other words, expectations were not being met and the “red tape” created by examination of too many government departments involved in the investigation, testing, liaison and certification process, produced a much delayed result and inefficiency. Since 1969, CSIR with Agrément SA has certificated internationally 266 systems developed in South Africa and 52 products created locally but this is considered way under par in the race to encourage innovation and develop small business, particularly in the targeted area of providing socio-economic benefits. Cabinet approved in October last year a draft designed to tighten up how Agrément SA is to be managed. Firstly, the bill as now tabled, seeks to establish Agrément SA as a juristic person with the relevant staff transferred from CSIR, and for an entity to be formed with its own board subject to the PMFA.

Non-standardised products can be specified

Secondly, the Bill seeks to provide legislation that will continue to provide assurance to specifiers and users of the quality and value for money of non-standardised construction related products or systems.  The Bill is specific in its focus to support the introduction and use of a certified non-standardised construction related engineering or other products or systems in the local or international market. Primarily the overall object will also remain a catalyst for encouraging research and development of non-standardised construction related products or systems to support socio-economic development. However, the reconstituted entity will be able to charge fees for services rendered and open a bank account. Any issued agrément (consent) certificates will be valid for three years. Other articles in this category or as background ParlyReportSA – CSIR reports on languages We can do better says new public works minister – ParlyReportSA Infrastructure Development Bill to cut red tape – ParlyReport

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