The Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA), has once again highlighted the importance of maintaining high standards in the manufacturing of thermoplastic pipes.
The purpose or mission of SAPPMA is to create absolute customer confidence in the plastics pipe industry, thereby ensuring long term sustainability and dynamic growth in this all-important industry. To this end, it is voluntary, self-regulating, non-profit association that represents approximately 80% of the plastic pipe manufacturers and other stakeholders in the southern African plastic pipe industry. Membership comprises most of the major players in Southern Africa, and the SAPPMA brand is recognized by design engineers and customers as an additional safeguard against poor quality products.
“Plastic piping is used across the complete spectrum of many industries, including mining, civil, irrigation, industrial, telecommunication, and building. Around 150,000 tons of pipe (PVC and HDPE) are produced annually in South Africa, representing many thousands of kilometers,” says Jan Venter, CEO of SAPPMA. “Plastic piping networks form an integral, expensive, long term, and extremely important part of the infrastructure of this country. The integrity of these networks, built up over many years, is of critical importance, serving the water supply and sewage disposal needs of many millions of people. This clearly highlights the need for a responsible, ethical, and quality-conscious industry”.
Venter explains that SAPPMA is not in competition with any accredited certification organization, but plays a crucial coordinating role between all stakeholders in this industry. Its sole focus is on a relatively small (but crucially important) sector of industry, and it is in a unique position to detect problems much earlier than any other organization. In addition, SAPPMA monitors its own members in terms of product quality and full adherence to all relevant national standards. This ensures that SAPPMA members meet the association’s high standards that are based on international best practice and stipulated in its Code of Conduct.
“Plastic is clearly no longer an alternative pipe material, but has grown to a dominant position in piping systems worldwide, with an estimated share of more than 50%. Independent market surveys in South Africa indicate similar dominance in sizes up to 1,000mm diameter,” Venter explains.
“South Africa is a dry country, and water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource. With demand for clean drinking water and inconsistent rainfall, we can no longer afford the huge losses in pipelines (estimated to be of the order of 40%). The need is for piping systems that are leak-free and durable for extended lifetimes, up to 100 years. HDPE and PVC pipes answer this call with distinction. In addition, they are highly suitable for the rehabilitation of old pipelines,” Venter expounds.
SAPPMA’s approach is based on international best practice and motivated by continuous improvement. Independent and unannounced factory audits are frequently done and samples tested to ensure that the association’s members continue to meet the high standards specified. Venter admits that this is a rigorous process, but adds that it that ensures that SAPPMA members are committed to delivering the highest quality products and services.
“The SAPPMA brand is well known and is recognized by design engineers and customers as an additional safeguard against poor quality products. This is because SAPPMA members are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality, safety, and performance. This commitment is reflected in the quality of the products that SAPPMA members produce, and in the services that they provide to their customers. We will continue to be unwavering in our commitment to create absolute customer confidence in the plastics pipe industry, thereby ensuring long term sustainability and dynamic growth in this all-important industry,” Venter concludes.
For more information, visit www.sappma.co.za