THE government is drafting a new law that will compel local and foreign companies operating in the country to get quality accreditation from the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), an official has revealed.
Report by Tarisai Mandizha
Speaking at the SAZ official certificate presentation ceremony in Harare last week, Industry and Commerce acting secretary Stanslous Mangoma said currently only local companies were getting the accreditation on a voluntary basis.
He said once the legislation was in place it would be compulsory to attain accreditation from SAZ.
The legislation is expected to protect the consumer and to reduce the influx of cheap and substandard imported commodities flooding the local market.
“My ministry is currently in the process of finalising the legislation that is intended to regulate and enforce standards through a proposed Zimbabwe Quality Standards Authority Bill,” Mangoma said.
“We believe that this legislation will provide comfort and certainty to industry.”
Meanwhile, Mangoma said the accreditation of SAZ Harare and Bulawayo laboratories by Sadc Accreditation Service (Sadcaz) to ISO/IE 17025 for chemical analysis of water would enhance regional and international trade as well as economic and social development in the region.
He said the accreditation not only assured the normally restive markets, but also instilled national confidence and aligned the country with internationally recognised best practice.
“I have been made to understand that accreditation of SAZ Harare and Bulawayo laboratories covers the scope of water testing which will address the problems we have been facing regarding the need to assure clients on the safety of water chemical parameters,” he said.
Mangoma said through recapitalisation programmes, SAZ had over the years enhanced its testing capabilities by replacing old equipment with state-of-the-art equipment financed through assistance from the Standards Development Levy grant.
He encouraged the business community to fully take advantage of the facilities that were provided through accredited testing services.
“I would further encourage the business community to continue to adopt a culture of quality and aim to do it right first time so that we ensure not only the sustained growth of our economy, but also that this growth is buttressed with enhanced value addition of our products,” Mangoma said.
SAZ director-general Eve Gadzikwa said the association’s accreditation recognised the implications of globalisation.
“This accreditation provides third party attestation and international recognition that the laboratories are capable of producing accurate and reliable results thus assuring the public safety of water chemical parameters,” she said.