Left: Lungelo Ntobongwana, Divisional Head of Customer Partnering at the SABS Right: Lehlogonolo Masoga, CEO of MMSEZ
The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ), in Limpopo, earlier this week. The MoU sets out the collaborative relationship between the SABS and MMSEZ in terms of conformity assessments, access to standards and the provision of training services, as and when a need arises.
The MMSEZ, is an initiative of the Limpopo Provincial Government and is a state-owned entity. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are the brainchild of the industrial policy action plans, under the direction of the Department of trade, industry and competition (the dtic). The dtic is also the shareholder of the SABS.
The focus of the MMSEZ is to foster industrial development, through the development of a Special Economic Zone to promote manufacturing, agro-processing and the logistics sector. The South African government, in an effort to reposition itself in the world economy, established the Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) programme. The programme’s main focus was to attract foreign direct investment and export of value-added commodities. While MMSEZ is still in its inception phase, it has embarked on a path of ensuring that quality management and compliance to South African National Standards is embedded into the culture.
Lungelo Ntobongwana, Divisional Head of Customer Partnering at the SABS, said: “The SABS looks forward to including the MMSEZ as one of the South African companies to collaborate with, to enable economic transformation through provision of conformity assessment services and compliance to prevailing guidelines contained in South African National Standards (SANS). By focussing on quality management, training, conformance assessments and holding suppliers to conform to such standards, the MMSEZ is positioning itself for long-term sustainability, that will ultimately lead to improving the lives and livelihoods of South Africans.”
The CEO of MMSEZ, Lehlogonolo Masoga reflected that the MoU sets out the intent for the SABS and MMSEZ to collaborate and find beneficial business and scientific solutions that can be commercialised in partnership with academic institutions in Limpopo Province i.e. University of Limpopo, University of Venda and the Vhembe TVET. “The potential for quality management and conformity assessments can be implemented from the raw material used in our infrastructure, to implementing systems and processes, and in the future, when we are ready to market the products that are developed by the MMSEZ,” said Masoga.