Posted: February 13, 2020
The SABS remains on the turnaround path
|The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) would like to assure stakeholders that the SABS remains committed to delivering on its turnaround strategy, despite the recent resignation of the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Garth Strachan. Jodi Scholtz and Tshenge Demana who were appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry as co-administrators in 2018 will continue to steer the organisation to achieve its objectives and fulfil its mandate. The administrators are being supported the dtiand Scholtz will now serve as the lead administrator, until the process of appointing a board is finalised.
The Director-General of the dti, Mr Lionel October indicated that Mr Strachan has been influential in putting SABS on a firmer footing and his contribution has been acknowledged.
“SABS will continue to implement the plans initiated by Strachan and this will not deter the commitment of the SABS to deliver value to South Africa,” says October.
October states that the dti is fully in support of the way forward for SABS charted by the co-administrators.
“SABS is part of the technical infrastructure entities of the dti. The technical infrastructure entities play a valuable role in ensuring that the economy is supported through standards, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology. The relationship between the dti and all its agencies, which includes SABS, remains intact”, explains October.
Strachan, together with the co-administrators has achieved significant milestones in the past 18 months, which includes reducing the nett loss in the financial year that ended 31 March 2019 to R4.4 million – from the loss of R70.7 million in the 2017/2018 financial year. Substantial improvements were made in governance, financial and operational levers that contributed to improved performance.
“SABS faces financial challenges; however, it is expected that in the next three years the organisation will return to profitability. Investments are currently being made to upgrade high priority laboratories, improve facilities to optimise testing conditions and to procure new equipment. This is part of a broader investment plan, implemented over three years that will result in the financial stability of the organisation,” says October.
“SABS as an organisation within the technical infrastructure value chain, remains renowned for its resolute commitment to developing independent standards that ensure even playing fields for all South Africans to participate in. The SABS Mark Scheme, commonly referred to as ‘SABS Approved’ and the stringent testing protocols are well regarded in industry. The organisation has a proud heritage and reputation. While SABS is currently undergoing operational and financial difficulty, the organisation is on the path to restore itself and is gearing up to meet the challenges of the future,” concludes October.