South African Bureau of Standards gets new Board after four-year absentia

SOUTH AFRICA – After four years of functioning without a permanent Board or a full-time Chief Executive Officer, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Competition has named eight individuals to the board of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) for a five-year term.

Ebrahim Patel, the Minister of Trade and Industry, claims that despite having been in operation for more than a decade, his department has had difficulty locating appropriate individuals to appoint to the SABS Board.

“The SABS is important because it is our national standardization authority, responsible for maintaining South Africa’s database of more than 6 500 national standards, as well as developing new standards and revising, amending, or withdrawing existing standards as required.

“It is vital to our industrialization and job creation efforts. A well-functioning SABS means that a high-quality service is available to consumers and businesses. The new Board has the opportunity and mandate to take SABS to be a leading global standards institution. I wish them well,” he said.

After losing faith in its Directors, then-minister Rob Davies put the agency under the leadership of “administrators” in July 2018.

Davies fired the group’s Board for “underperformance,” claiming that the subpar service delivery was hurting local business.

But what was meant to be a short-term solution that would last for approximately six months has now dragged on for four years and four months.

The new Board Members include Dr. Sandile Bethuel Malinga (Chairperson), Nandipha Madiba, Tumi Tsehlo, Gloria Mnguni, Deidre Penfold, Rudzani Nemutudi, Mukondeleli Grace Kanakana-Katumba, and Dr. Ron Josias.

The addition of new Board members will accelerate the institution’s efforts to become more stable.

With a Ph.D. from Rhodes University, Malinga has been appointed as the Board’s new Chair.

He is a space physics researcher who has written for reputable worldwide magazines of science and technology.

Board members from diverse backgrounds

With more than 18 years of expertise in the aviation and aerospace industries, he formerly served as CEO at the South African National Space Agency. He’s employed at the Air Traffic and Navigation Services at the moment.

Nemutudi is another Physicist with a specialty in Semiconductor Physics. He has training in research, formulation of public policy, nanotechnology, and analytical methods.

He has held positions on the Boards of the International Council of Scientific Unions and as an independent member of the National Metrology Institute of South Africa.

Kanakana-Katumba, an Industrial Engineer with a D Phil in Engineering Management, serves as Executive Dean of Engineering and the Built Environment at the Tshwane University of Technology.

Penfold is an Executive Director of the Chemical and Allied Industries Association and holds a BCom (Hons) in Economics.

She has a wealth of experience in project management, research, training, and stakeholder management.

Mnguni is a Chartered Accountant who has served on numerous committees, taught at the University of Johannesburg, and previously worked for the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Josias has a Ph.D. in public administration and a plethora of experience in technological infrastructure governance, accreditation, and standards. Additionally, he previously held the position of SA National Accreditation System CEO.

In addition to having a BCom (Acc) and an MBA, Madiba has a range of experience in corporate governance, human resource management, strategic business management, risk management, and the monitoring and assessment of policy.

Tsehlo holds an MSc in Engineering (Electromech, Industrial) and has a wealth of experience in technical infrastructure governance, accreditation, and management.

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