Categorized | Government

Public Works Minister TW Nxesi launches the Agrément South Africa as fully fledged legal entity

Public Works Minister TW Nxesi, MP, in partnership with the Agrément South Africa launched the Agrément South Africa as a fully-fledged legal entity of the Department of Public Works. The entity had previously utilised and undertook its technical assessments at the CSIR campus’s laboratories and test sites on behalf of the Department.

The launch of Agrément South Africa emanates from the President’s proclamation of Act No. 11 of 2015 in which the entity was established as schedule 3A entity under Public Works as from 1 April 2017 to commence its operations as an independent entity from the CSIR from 1 April 2018.

The 48 year old entity was first established in 1969 and is tasked with conducting testing, performance and certification of construction industry products and methodologies to ensure quality and durability of such products on behalf of the Department of Public Works. The entity plays an integral part of the department’s scarce technical expertise as it ensures compliance with the construction industry’s highest quality standards and performance. The entity is also tasked with managing the South African Eco-Labelling System as Government’s recognized system for building materials and products.

The system will address amongst others, indoor air quality, comfort, environmental issues, and material and energy resource conservation.  The Eco-Labeling System will now be incorporated in the National Department of Public Works Standard Specifications for Construction Works.

In his keynote address Minister Nxesi, said Agrement SA commenced its operations, independent of the CSIR, as an entity and implementing agency of the Department of Public Works from the 1st April 2018.  In the coming weeks and months, Agrément South Africa plans to increase its visibility nationally to ensure that communities and industry professionals are aware of its services. The organization will manage the South African Eco-Labelling System as government’s recognized system for categorising building materials and products. The system will address amongst others, indoor air quality, comfort, environmental issues, and material and energy resource conservation.  The Eco-Labelling System will now be incorporated in the National Department of Public Works’ Standard Specifications for Construction Works.”

Agrément South Africa Acting chairperson Dr J. Mahachi stated that “Today provides us with an opportunity to actively support innovation in the construction industry through a public entity which was established through an Act of Parliament. The country is facing shortage of technical skills as well as capacity particularly in the public sector and a lack of technology innovation diffusion”

On the day, the Minister and the Agrément South Africa leadership led the delegation to two site inspections where they were introduced to new technological innovations produced and showcased by the entity. The entity demonstrated the advantages of its innovative sanitation site as a future game-changer to help Government’s drive to eradicate pit-toilets and contribute towards the creation of safer toilet infrastructure for disadvantaged communities and therefore reduce pit-toilet related fatalities.

Some of the advantages of sanitation innovation include the following: a. underground components of dry sanitation technologies; b. dry sanitation technology top structures; c. underground structures of urine diversion technologies; d. top structures of ecological sanitation technologies and Water-borne technologies.

In the second project, the advantages and innovation for building site project were also highlighted as an advancement in testing for certification purposes and fit for use buildings which are safe for human habit. The project experts also emphasized the importance of focusing more on labour-intensive methodologies of creating work opportunities rather than relying on machines and technology.

The objectives of the entity in terms of Agrément South Africa Act (No.11 of 2015) are:

  1. Provide assurance to specifiers and users of the fitness-for-purpose of non-standardised construction related products or systems;
  2. Support and promote the process of integrated socio-economic development in the Republic as it relates to the construction industry; support and promote the introduction and use of certified non-standardised construction related products or systems in the local or international market;
  3. Support and promote the introduction and use of certified non-standardised construction related products or systems in the local or international market;
  4. Support policy makers to minimize the risk associated with the use of a non-standardised construction related product or system; and
  5. Be an impartial and internationally acknowledged South African centre for the assessment and confirmation of fitness-for-purpose of non-standardised construction related products or systems.

 

 

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