From left, Garth Strachan, acting CEO of SABS, Jodi Scholtz, Group Chief Operating Officer at the dti and co-administrator of SABS, Tshenge Demana, Chief Director of Technical Infrastructure Institutions at the dti and co-administrator of SABS, Alfred Kgotlaesile, Manager Compulsory Standards at BOBSM, asego Marobela Managing Director of BOBS, Keo Segomelo, Director Standards at BOBS. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - South Africa and Botswana on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise the commitment to collaborate on all standards related matters.

This includes standards development and recognising South Africa as an inspection services provider for the implementation of the Botswana Standards, import inspection regulations. 

The agreement was signed by South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) in Cape Town, on the side-lines of the 42nd annual general meeting of the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) week, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from September 16-20.

“Botswana and South Africa share similar challenges in terms of socio-economic issues and it makes sense that as we strive to improve the lives of our people and our economies, we find ways to increase our collaboration,” BOBS managing director Masego Marobela said. 

“Botswana intends to fulfil the terms of the agreement and look forward to a fruitful partnership with South Africa regarding all matters of standards development, conformity assessment and related matters,” Marobela said.

“Regional partnerships are important for cementing relationships, sharing resources and building capacity.  

"Such collaborative agreements strengthen ties with our neighbours and will contribute to investment led trade and regional industrial integration, in which the harmonisation of standards must play and important part,” SABS acting chief executive, Garth Strachan said.

The event saw a delegation of about 600 people from 114 countries meet to discuss the role of national standards in solving issues around sustainable development.

The development of global and national standards to address challenges such as poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, access to basic services, the need for collaboration amongst African countries to ensure that the needs of Africa are included in the global standard setting arena, and how can standardisation impact the African continental free trade area agreement, are among other topics being discussed at the event.

- African News Agency (ANA)