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About the CMA

THE CMA MARK OF APPROVAL FOR PRECAST CONCRETE PRODUCTS

The construction industry and its financiers in South Africa are becoming increasingly aware of the value of using products that have been specifically manufactured for construction projects under strictly controlled conditions.
For this reason, the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) has set a goal for 2016 and onwards to play a leading role in promoting the use of quality approved precast products and is taking the proactive step of introducing the CMA Mark of Approval as a means of verifying compliance of precast concrete products with various local standards.
For end-users, specifiers and those involved in the procurement of precast concrete products the scheme marks an end to guess work and provides them with verifiable proof of the quality of products. However, with the introduction of such a “mark of approval” there are always questions on the authority of the CMA, how strong a brand name the association has and for those involved in the industry to ask “how it will impact my business if I don’t comply?” In order to provide some clarity let’s look at the following common questions:

The difference between SABS and SANS:

The abbreviation SABS stands for the entity called the South African Bureau of Standards. The abbreviation SANS stands for a document called the South African National Standard. The South African National Standard documents do not belong to the SABS, but is the property of South Africa (the country) and these documents are currently administered by the SABS.
The misperception could be formed when one is buying the SANS specification at the SABS standards division that it belongs to the SABS, but the DTI only makes use of the SABS as it’s service provider for the publishing of the standards and that can be seen on the front page where it clearly states “Published by SABS”.

CMA Mark versus SABS Mark:

Once CMA Certification Services (Pty) Ltd obtains its SANAS accreditation it will mean that we operate from the same level of competence as any other certification body. Clients will also be able to see whether SANAS accreditation is being maintained by their service providers by simply verifying it on the SANAS web site. Please refer to www.sanas.gov.za
At present it would be beneficial for clients to verify their current service provider’s accreditation status since the SANAS web site will only reflect the most current accredited clients.
The CMA Mark of approval will therefore be a valid and legitimate “Mark of Approval” for specified products, and will be the equivalent of the SABS Mark of approval.

Why does the CMA provide an alternative?

The concerns expressed to the CMA by the industry about the current situation is clearly expressed in the following points:

  • Inability of current certification body to test precast concrete products correctly according to specifications.
  • Auditor competencies and industry knowledge.
  •  Late or incorrect test results on test samples.
  • Unserviceable or unreliable test equipment.
  • Delays from incompetent or over worked auditors to submit recommendations to an approvals board that needs to make certification decisions.
  • Excessive certification fees.
  • Poor communication from the current certification body to the clients.
  • The audit process from the current certification body does not satisfy the industry needs and expectations. This ranges from the planning of an audit, through to the receiving of an audit report.
  • Upon approval, members experience delays in the issuing of certificates.

After consultation with its members, the CMA noted their concerns and that no progress was being made by the SABS on resolving problems even after numerous and protracted negotiations and meetings by the CMA. The decision to provide a thoroughly controlled and maintained alternative Mark of approval to the industry was therefore proposed and accepted by the members.

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